A New York Times Bestseller. A “fascinating” (Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times) look at how digital technology is transforming our work and our lives. In recent years, Google’s autonomous cars have logged thousands of miles on American highways and IBM’s Watson trounced the best human Jeopardy! players. Digital technologies?with hardware, software, and networks at their core?will in the near future diagnose diseases more accurately than doctors can, apply enormous data sets to transform retailing, and accomplish many tasks once considered uniquely human.
In The Second Machine Age MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee?two thinkers at the forefront of their field?reveal the forces driving the reinvention of our lives and our economy. As the full impact of digital technologies is felt, we will realize immense bounty in the form of dazzling personal technology, advanced infrastructure, and near-boundless access to the cultural items that enrich our lives.
Amid this bounty will also be wrenching change. Professions of all kinds?from lawyers to truck drivers?will be forever upended. Companies will be forced to transform or die. Recent economic indicators reflect this shift: fewer people are working, and wages are falling even as productivity and profits soar.
Drawing on years of research and up-to-the-minute trends, Brynjolfsson and McAfee identify the best strategies for survival and offer a new path to prosperity. These include revamping education so that it prepares people for the next economy instead of the last one, designing new collaborations that pair brute processing power with human ingenuity, and embracing policies that make sense in a radically transformed landscape.
A fundamentally optimistic book, The Second Machine Age alters how we think about issues of technological, societal, and economic progress.
About the Author
Erik Brynjolfsson is the director of the MIT Center for Digital Business and one of the most cited scholars in information systems and economics.
Andrew McAfee is a principal research scientist at the MIT Center for Digital Business and the author of Enterprise 2.0.
"...set to be one of the zeitgeist works of 2014..." -- The Guardian "...an ambitious, engaging and at times terrifying vision of where modern technology is taking the human race...The authors may not have the solution to growing inequality, but their book marks one of the most effective explanations yet for the origins of the gap." -- The Economist "Brynjolfsson and McAfee started to lay out their vision of the challenges of the technological revolution more than three years ago. But their broadly optimistic book is still one of the best summaries of the debate about the impact of digital change on our future job prospects and prosperity." -- Andrew Hill, Best Books of 2014 - Financial Times "...a fascinating book..." -- Roger Bootle - The Telegraph "Crammed with analyses of everything from human-machine competition to the state of US education." -- Nature "...fascinating book..." -- John Lanchester - London Review of Books "The fear that robots will take over is, of course, as old as dystopian literature. The new and unheralded development is something called the Internet. This point is elegantly made in a suddenly ubiquitous new book called The Second Machine Age, by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology." -- Evening Standard "...one of last year's most important books..." -- New Statesman "...influential..." -- The Observer "...it [The Second Machine Age] feels like a must-read for entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers." -- The Huffington Post "My favourite and most revealing book of the year was not a novel but a non-fiction publication... a book that throws you off-balance while reading. Different to other publications, it is not only a real analysis and well-researched perspective, but also utterly optimistic." -- The Art Newspaper " ...brilliant new book. " -- The Evening Standard