From the spinning jenny to the combustion engine to the first computer, new technologies have always led workers to panic about being replaced by machines, and yet these fears have always been misplaced. In the past, new technology has always complemented the work of humans. In A World Without Work, award-winning economist Daniel Susskind shows why this time, with the rise of artificial intelligence, it will be different. The threat is real, but we haven’t been asking the right questions about exactly what is at stake.
Drawing on almost a decade of research into this topic, Susskind argues that a realistic vision of the future is not one in which machines do everything, but rather in which they do more. As they slowly, but relentlessly, take on more and more tasks, human beings will be forced to retreat to the shrinking set of activities that machines cannot do. And, as we move through the 21st century, the demand for the work of humans is likely to wither away. Yet Susskind reminds us that this technological progress will solve one of mankind’s oldest problems - how to make the economic pie large enough for everyone to live on. The challenge now is to properly share out this new economic prosperity, constrain the burgeoning political power of Big Tech, and provide meaning in a world with less work.
A World Without Work
is an innovative, authoritative and optimistic guide to how we can rise to the challenge of automation. The task ahead, Susskind shows us, is to build a world where everyone can flourish.