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An insightful, engaging tour by a noted Silicon Valley insider of how accelerating developments in Artificial Intelligence will transform the way we live and work Selected as one of the 10 best science and technology books of 2015 by The Economist   After billions of dollars and fifty years of effort, researchers are finally cracking the code on artificial intelligence. As An insightful, engaging tour by a noted Silicon Valley insider of how accelerating developments in Artificial Intelligence will transform the way we live and work Selected as one of the 10 best science and technology books of 2015 by The Economist   After billions of dollars and fifty years of effort, researchers are finally cracking the code on artificial intelligence. As society stands on the cusp of unprecedented change, Jerry Kaplan unpacks the latest advances in robotics, machine learning, and perception powering systems that rival or exceed human capabilities. Driverless cars, robotic helpers, and intelligent agents that promote our interests have the potential to usher in a new age of affluence and leisure — but as Kaplan warns, the transition may be protracted and brutal unless we address the two great scourges of the modern developed world: volatile labor markets and income inequality. He proposes innovative, free-market adjustments to our economic system and social policies to avoid an extended period of social turmoil. His timely and accessible analysis of the promise and perils of artificial intelligence is a must-read for business leaders and policy makers on both sides of the aisle.


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An insightful, engaging tour by a noted Silicon Valley insider of how accelerating developments in Artificial Intelligence will transform the way we live and work Selected as one of the 10 best science and technology books of 2015 by The Economist   After billions of dollars and fifty years of effort, researchers are finally cracking the code on artificial intelligence. As An insightful, engaging tour by a noted Silicon Valley insider of how accelerating developments in Artificial Intelligence will transform the way we live and work Selected as one of the 10 best science and technology books of 2015 by The Economist   After billions of dollars and fifty years of effort, researchers are finally cracking the code on artificial intelligence. As society stands on the cusp of unprecedented change, Jerry Kaplan unpacks the latest advances in robotics, machine learning, and perception powering systems that rival or exceed human capabilities. Driverless cars, robotic helpers, and intelligent agents that promote our interests have the potential to usher in a new age of affluence and leisure — but as Kaplan warns, the transition may be protracted and brutal unless we address the two great scourges of the modern developed world: volatile labor markets and income inequality. He proposes innovative, free-market adjustments to our economic system and social policies to avoid an extended period of social turmoil. His timely and accessible analysis of the promise and perils of artificial intelligence is a must-read for business leaders and policy makers on both sides of the aisle.

30 review for Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

  1. 4 out of 5

    Caren

    Once I picked up this book, I couldn't put it down. It is written in a conversational style anyone can follow and unlike so many books on this topic, does not take a doomsday approach. The author, who teaches courses on the ethics and impact of artificial intelligence at Stanford University, has some really creative possible solutions for what he considers the biggest problems posed by AI (artificial intelligence), namely unemployment and broad income disparity. While wealthy himself (from his o Once I picked up this book, I couldn't put it down. It is written in a conversational style anyone can follow and unlike so many books on this topic, does not take a doomsday approach. The author, who teaches courses on the ethics and impact of artificial intelligence at Stanford University, has some really creative possible solutions for what he considers the biggest problems posed by AI (artificial intelligence), namely unemployment and broad income disparity. While wealthy himself (from his own description of his lifestyle), he says he is not in the 1%, but he is obviously friendly with that set and gives a pretty stark contrast between the life of someone like Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, and a former employee at one of his own companies. His former employee, the son of an immigrant, worked hard to get a college degree in business, only to find that after doggedly sending out resume after resume, the only jobs he could get were as an Enterprise car-rental company manager-trainee or installing wiring for cable companies (a job his father had done and which the author indicates is on its way out). These were both jobs with long, chaotic hours and not much money. There follows a sobering discussion of the growing income inequality problem in this country, which is only exacerbated by AI. Mr. Kaplan's solutions really seem workable. He did say income probably needs to be decoupled from work, but he offered some ways to allow ordinary people to invest (and to see that they have the means to do so), ensuring some sort of income, while they could receive credit for volunteer work in various capacities. I think you'll need to read the book for the full explanation of this, but I thought it sounded feasible (although I hasten to add, I am no economist). Some of his predictions for the future are slightly creepy: "Synthetic intellects will cooperate with us as long as they need us. Eventually, when they can design, fix, and reproduce by themselves, we are likely to be left on our own. Will they 'enslave' us? Not really---more like farm us or keep us on a preserve, making life so pleasant and convenient that there's little motivation to venture beyond its boundaries. We don't compete for the same resources, so they are likely to be either completely indifferent---as we are to worms and nematodes---or paternalistic, as we are to our house pets. But no need to worry now; this isn't likely to happen on a timescale that will concern you and me." (page 207) Oh, well thank goodness for that! He says the 'bots will keep us around because "...we are conscious, because we have subjective experience and emotions---there's simply no evidence so far that they have anything like this....In other words, they may need us for our minds, just as we need other animals for their bodies. My guess is that our 'product' will be works of art. If they lack the ability to experience love and suffering, it will be hard for them to capture these authentic emotions in creative expressive forms..." (page 207) Naturally, this last bit is speculative, but the book is a fascinating journey into a not-so-distant future, and from Mr. Kaplan's perspective, it didn't sound that bad. He said he got the title for his book from a short video by C.G.P. Grey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pq-S... . The video covers some of the points he makes in the book. One last comment: I found the physical book itself to be elegantly designed. Wide margins contained the page number and title of the chapter vertically alongside the text, and new chapters were announced by black pages with the chapter heading in clear, uncluttered text. It was a nice size to hold and just seemed aesthetically pleasing. (Can you tell I am an absolute book nerd?) **Here is the author speaking on a PBS show: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/labor-...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Niklas Laninge

    Stopped reading when chapter 8 begins with Kaplan saying that global warming isn’t a problem and that he welcomes an increase in temperature in his own city. Until that point the book had been a fairly standard AI-book about jobs and automation. The book hasn’t aged that well so you’ll probably find better insights from a more current medium post.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Andrej Karpathy

    This book provides a decent exploration of the future of automation. The first part of the book talks about AI/Machine Learning. This may have been a decent intro for someone completely new to the field, but for someone very much inside the field it was a little frustrating to read because of explanations that I think confused concepts in artificial intelligence, sometimes for example using the terms "machine learning" and "neural networks" interchangeably. I was also put off by some silly examp This book provides a decent exploration of the future of automation. The first part of the book talks about AI/Machine Learning. This may have been a decent intro for someone completely new to the field, but for someone very much inside the field it was a little frustrating to read because of explanations that I think confused concepts in artificial intelligence, sometimes for example using the terms "machine learning" and "neural networks" interchangeably. I was also put off by some silly examples of what the future looks like, such as "Trying on an outfit? Instead of asking a sales assistant if you look nice, why not take a snapshot of yourself and seek crowdsourced opinions?". To me, these silly and quite speculative examples of small use cases give off too much of a singularity hype hype vibe. The later part of the book is where things finally take off and the book goes into some social-economical repercussions of automation and the likely more dramatic income inequality. This is mostly why I got the book and I was looking forward to these parts, but unfortunately the book dives in quite quickly and became a bit of a stream-of-consciousness that assumed quite a lot of knowledge of economics, law, etc. I did not have enough background to appreciate entire chapters (e.g. surrounding the proposed job mortgage concept and its merits) and went from being bored in the first half to mostly confused in the second half. I think these chapters should have been expanded, introduced more slowly, put in wider context, and made more concrete with more frequent examples.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Matthias Cole

    The implications of synthetic intelligence and machine learning are often left to academics and quasi-philosophical discussions over bar tops leaving the layperson sidelined, wondering what all the fuss is about. Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence paints with broad strokes how smart technologies have already integrated themselves into our culture and the work they are doing in the background of our lives. The author, Jerry Kaplan, writes with The implications of synthetic intelligence and machine learning are often left to academics and quasi-philosophical discussions over bar tops leaving the layperson sidelined, wondering what all the fuss is about. Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence paints with broad strokes how smart technologies have already integrated themselves into our culture and the work they are doing in the background of our lives. The author, Jerry Kaplan, writes with an expertise and amusement; a definite brain-candy read. This nonfiction work is well structured, face-paced, and incredibly concise. Each chapter takes on a different scene and innovation; be prepared to want to know more! Between economics and the environment, algorithms are making decisions on our behalf, the consequences disastrous and humerous. Do not be surprised if you find yourself reading long sections out loud to your friends, family, and significant other. Humans Need Not Apply is a map of what the landscape is today, planting seeds for the reader to envision what the terrain will look like tomorrow. Published by Yale University Press, August 4, 2015. Review copy received.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jeneba Charkey

    Scary. Maybe this is what an intelligent lobster feels like as it is being boiled. I always thought I would be smart enough to stay ahead of these trends. But I was brought up in an age that frowned upon unstoppable greed. Greed coupled with AI is terrifying.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Karel Baloun

    This quick read entertainingly and accurately presents the real present situation of AI automation, as "forged laborers" and "synthetic intelligences" take over most current employment, very quickly. Kaplan is right that they will own property and get legal personhood, because their (elite, politically connected) owners will prefer this. He is realistic and correct on many trends, for example how self driving cars and robots will massively change land use policy, so the books is still valuable, This quick read entertainingly and accurately presents the real present situation of AI automation, as "forged laborers" and "synthetic intelligences" take over most current employment, very quickly. Kaplan is right that they will own property and get legal personhood, because their (elite, politically connected) owners will prefer this. He is realistic and correct on many trends, for example how self driving cars and robots will massively change land use policy, so the books is still valuable, though needs to be read critically to catch biases and errors. Kaplan tragically understates the effect on jobs, since he explicitly aims to be optimistic. He does admit driving jobs will rapidly disappear, and notes that 57% of current jobs are forecast to be automated, but also believes retail employment will only cease to grow, and that just the rich 5% could employ 2/3rds of America, just drawing on the proceeds of their investment income. Of course 6-12% returns (in various examples) are neither guaranteed nor necessarily realistic. Also, he frustratingly uses average instead of median incomes in analysis, which dramatically understates inequality. He ignores non-linear transition points and margin economic reality. For example, not all retail sales need to move online before brick and mortar shops close. They only need to become non-profitable at the margin, and with 2-3x the retail space per capita of any other nation, retail space reduction is nearly inevitable. Similarly, he (really does) claim that climate change isn’t so bad, producing winners and losers, but doesn’t account for runaway forward feedback loops in carbon release, or for non-linear weather events like the collapse of the South Asian monsoon. He enthusiastically presents two solution ideas: (1) a Job mortgage, which is regressive, just a tweak on painful student loans. (2) corporate taxation dependent on a "public benefit index", representing breadth and degree of common public ownership, pushes redistribution only the cover future growth. It's a fresh, capitalist idea but underwhelming in speed to address inequality. These are not sufficient to even make a measurable impact on the huge joblessness from automation problem, and pale in contrast to something like higher progressive taxation, nationalization and redistribution of industry assets, or basic income. He is right that "AI will make our future bright - if only we can figure out how to equitably distribute the benefits”. Unfortunately, his proposals for this fall far short. His measured view of the future power of “artificial persons” and their “heirs” is both unnerving and scarily realistic. It is accurate then we (most humans) will certainly prefer the service of robots, employing them in preference to humans.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Littrell

    Readable, intelligent and eye-popping Jerry Kaplan, a self-styled “serial entrepreneur” and currently a fellow at Stanford University, is also an expert on the economic and social consequences of artificial intelligence. In this beautifully designed book from Yale University Press he gives us his view on how AI is going to drastically change our lives in the near future. He believes, for example, that according to “expert consensus…75 percent of the vehicles on the road will be self-driving in tw Readable, intelligent and eye-popping Jerry Kaplan, a self-styled “serial entrepreneur” and currently a fellow at Stanford University, is also an expert on the economic and social consequences of artificial intelligence. In this beautifully designed book from Yale University Press he gives us his view on how AI is going to drastically change our lives in the near future. He believes, for example, that according to “expert consensus…75 percent of the vehicles on the road will be self-driving in twenty to twenty-five years.” He points to how just this innovation alone will hugely benefit society: “Garages will go the way of outhouses…parking lots will be repurposed, essentially manufacturing vast amounts of real estate.” This is in addition to huge savings on energy and a projected fall in traffic accidents by 90 percent. (p. 195) The central message of this book is spelled out on page 3: “In a nutshell, after fifty years of effort and billions spent on research, we’re cracking the code on artificial intelligence.” How that is being done is not clear, but instead of trying to emulate the human brain, most researchers are working on knowledge-based systems and systems that learn from their mistakes. Kaplan divides the machines into two classes, “synthetic intellects” and “forged laborers.” The former will be machines of vast knowledge and intelligence that will manipulate data in every area of our economic, political, social and military lives—and at breakneck speed with pinpoint accuracy. Human intellects will not be able to compete. Think high speed stock trading (already happening of course) in every aspect of the human enterprise. These intellectual “robots” will not be walking around anywhere. They will be housed in buildings, towers, underground, flying through the air, etc., some components of their systems in one place and other components thousands of miles away. Forged laborers will be more restricted in time and space. They will be the “muscles” with ”brains” that will do the actual physical labor from farms to factories to households. Kaplan sees AI machines building automobiles “on demand” in room-sized factories. He avers that people will chose an expert and relatively cheap robotic doctor over an all too human one. (P. 151) (What he doesn’t say is that many people will opt for an attractive and expert robot for sex and companionship rather than a human. Think about how THAT will change society.) With the realization of synthetic intelligence and forged labor, the CEO’s dream of a “dark factory” so well automated that there is no need to spend money on lighting, will become a reality. What, you ask, could go wrong here? Try the enslavement of humankind. Would we love our chains? Would we be happy with our every need taken care of with little effort on our part? That’s the distant and deeply unsettling future--perhaps. Kaplan is more interested in how AI will affect us in the more immediate future. What will people do who have lost their jobs to synthetic intelligence? Can we all just hang out? What Kaplan sees as one of the greatest dangers is in the continuing inequality between the one percent and the rest that will only increase because of the power of AI. He calls for some interesting methods that redistribute the wealth. Whether the one percent will see the wisdom and necessity for redistribution is unclear, perhaps doubtful. My position is that the one percent should not be the ones making the decisions. Kaplan points to a troubling possibility, that of the engines of synthetic intelligence themselves owning all the capital. But how dangerous is this? Human CEOs make too many mistakes. Heads of state ditto. I suspect we will per force have synthetic intelligence at the top, guided by the human society itself. At least that is the hope. It appears that in the Age of Artificial Intelligence we will need democratic governments with constitutions. As for the notion that the robots will take over and massacre us poor humans, as in some action adventure flick, think again. Machines have no desire to do anything. Kaplan does not go into depth on this question, although he seems to think there is a possibility that machines will either inadvertently or on purpose do us grievous harm. The question here is can the synthetic intelligences reprogram themselves to desire something? And could that desire be to run the world without human beings? Personally I am not worried about the robots themselves. Instead I am worried that those people in high places in the corporations and in government may decide to use synthetic intellects to their advantage and the disadvantage of everyone else. Kaplan is guardedly optimistic. He writes that he’s “supremely confident that our future is very bright--if only we can figure out how to equitably distribute the benefits.” (p. 197) --Dennis Littrell, author of “The World Is Not as We Think It Is”

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brad Mills

    An entertaining and thought provoking look into the logical and inevitable future when artificial intelligence is part of our every day lives, making decisions for us. If you are a non-technical reader like me, you probably wonder - What will it be like? If you have a car, you already know. Your ABS breaks are a form of artificial intelligence algorithm that take your decision making power away from you. You slam on the brake, but the computer only takes that as a suggestion to stop. The computer An entertaining and thought provoking look into the logical and inevitable future when artificial intelligence is part of our every day lives, making decisions for us. If you are a non-technical reader like me, you probably wonder - What will it be like? If you have a car, you already know. Your ABS breaks are a form of artificial intelligence algorithm that take your decision making power away from you. You slam on the brake, but the computer only takes that as a suggestion to stop. The computer prioritizes a controlled over stopping time/distance to stop. The book starts with an eye opening summary of the existing technologies and algorithms that already are a part of our lives. "Synthetic Intellects" already run the financial system, HFT (high frequency trading) programs already have taken over the stock markets of the world, making hundreds of trades in the time it takes you to click the "confirm trade" button on your online stock trading account. These AI programs make "suggestive" decisions for us like what to watch or listen to, posts to read online, what route to take driving home, and even what price to pay for products. We then teleport into the future and learn about the moral and logistical challenges of owning AI autonomous helpers that will be able to act as our agents. TIP: incorporate your AI servant as it's own entity to be indemnified in case it gets into an accident or commits a crime, the same way taxi companies do today. How will the legal system in the future cope with AI servants and autonomous driving cars? For that we get a history lesson in slavery, the "corporations are people" lobbyist movement, and some musings on how the legal system might shift to adapt to autonomous AI corporate agents. There's a very informative and educational history of Amazon and Jeff Bezos, explaining how they are already using artificial intelligence to optimize every aspect of shopping - from robots replacing people, to deep learning algorithms determining how much you will pay for a TV at 5 am vs 10 pm, based on your recent shopping history, your demographics and your search history. There's a whole section on the economics of how we will be affected by AI depreciating the majority of simple jobs like driving, serving, construction, etc. The author proposes and interesting shift in the value of jobs vs being productive in society, and explores how our lives might change dramatically if the government takes a proactive approach to compensating for the coming exodus of human jobs with creative financial stimulus programs. That's just a sample of the artificial intelligence juiciness in this book. A must read for futurists & early technology adopters.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    If you have any interest in computers or automation or the future of technology, grab this book and get comfortable. Once you begin reading, you're going to say, just one more chapter, repeatedly. This is not the sort of book you expect to get so caught up in, but the conversational style in which it is written and the clarity with which the author explains the concepts, you don't want to put it down. I wish I had teachers with these qualities. I was particularly interested in the information on cy If you have any interest in computers or automation or the future of technology, grab this book and get comfortable. Once you begin reading, you're going to say, just one more chapter, repeatedly. This is not the sort of book you expect to get so caught up in, but the conversational style in which it is written and the clarity with which the author explains the concepts, you don't want to put it down. I wish I had teachers with these qualities. I was particularly interested in the information on cyber and online shopping; how customers are not treated equally. Kaplan gives us a history of artificial intelligence and shows the progression of types or levels of A.I. From simple forms that simply do as "told" or programmed, to those that discern patterns and adjust their functions accordingly to those that interact with and influence their surroundings. Do you remember when IBM assured us that computers could only do what a human programmed one to do? Those days are long gone. Filled with observations, historical fact, behind the scenes anecdotes and fictionalized examples designed to appeal and explain concepts to readers of various understand levels. I appreciated the analogy that if other technologies advanced as quickly as A.I., computer technology and information software, a gallon of gas would now take us thousands of miles. If you think you have no interest in computer technology, or couldn't understand a book like this, pick up this book. You will be glad you did. I did receive this book from the author through a Goodreads giveaway. I will buy additional copies for family members.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Craig Quiter

    The most striking idea in this book to me was what Kaplan calls the Public Benefit Index or PBI. It's a solution to the growing income inequality caused by AI. His idea is that current wealth is difficult to redistribute, but most wealth has yet to be generated, so simply get more people to invest (e.g. via the stock market) and future wealth will distribute via the market. The mechanism he proposes is to give tax breaks to public companies that increase their number of shareholders, i.e. their The most striking idea in this book to me was what Kaplan calls the Public Benefit Index or PBI. It's a solution to the growing income inequality caused by AI. His idea is that current wealth is difficult to redistribute, but most wealth has yet to be generated, so simply get more people to invest (e.g. via the stock market) and future wealth will distribute via the market. The mechanism he proposes is to give tax breaks to public companies that increase their number of shareholders, i.e. their PBI. That way, investment income exponentially grows with the economy, doesn't require people to work for pay (although there is still incentive to contribute), and gives a sense of participation in society that 'money for free' does not. All-in-all, the book was a fun read, with concepts explained through engaging, humorous stories and the concept of PBI being a true gem that I hope is explored much further.

  11. 5 out of 5

    LDM

    Compelling, in parts. In others, not so much. I'm not an expert on HFT, but to strongly suggest that it's almost indistinguishable from theft seems a bit of a stretch. Here are transactional inefficiencies that no one could capitalize on before. Now they can. Those inefficiencies always existed. That means there was always money lying around that no one could pick up - emphasis on "no one". Now it can be. To suggest that it's like picking someone's pocket seems wildly inaccurate. No one is being Compelling, in parts. In others, not so much. I'm not an expert on HFT, but to strongly suggest that it's almost indistinguishable from theft seems a bit of a stretch. Here are transactional inefficiencies that no one could capitalize on before. Now they can. Those inefficiencies always existed. That means there was always money lying around that no one could pick up - emphasis on "no one". Now it can be. To suggest that it's like picking someone's pocket seems wildly inaccurate. No one is being robbed - except perhaps Kaplan because he didn't come up with the idea first. Honestly, there's a weird flavor of envy simmering throughout Kaplan's book, along the lines of "I met this guy at X and I met that guy at Y, now both guys are filthy rich and I'm stuck here writing this damn book." And his beef with Amazon - frankly, I felt like I was reading some screed recounting all the horrors that will result when Borders destroys the bookstore world. Where's Borders now? I guess writing in 2014 meant Kaplan couldn't foresee Walmart's major shift into e-commerce in a bid to directly compete with Amazon. But guys, this kind of thing has happened before, countless upon countless times. To think that this is a unique case wherein the vision of the crazed Monopolist Exploits the World actually could happen requires a lot more compelling evidence than "Bezos has all the data and the computers and he's just biding his time til he can charge $50 for a tube of toothpaste, you suckers!" And as if price discrimination were some sort of insidious invention of plutocrats in the last few decades or so. C'mon, guy. Don't even get me started on chapter 6, which seems like it was lifted wholesale from some blog dedicated solely to churning out dutiful Democratic Party platform press releases. To call it a red herring would be a disservice to herrings everywhere. And speaking of red things, this chapter is what happens when someone has been writing for too long, when no editor can muster the cajones to take a giant red pen and commit unspeakable acts of full and total annihilation of the rambling hot takes dripping with smug self-regard. Why did you get me started on chapter 6? Anyway, these strange quirks - and there are many others - of Kaplan's are rather discouraging, because I agree with him that making sure AI is "done right" and we don't end up in Lem's world of "Peace on Earth" is...existentially important. But unfounded alarmism that a glorified convenience store will begin impoverishing us in the near future detracts and distracts from the real concerns.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dan Connors

    Up to half of all jobs in the US- HALF!- could be eliminated in the next decade or so by artificial intelligence, and this book is an important conversation about the implications of all that. This includes not only truck drivers, machinists, and retail employees but will hit doctors and lawyers as well. Machines in general are faster and more efficient in solving many of the complex problems that come up today- how do we rely on them without them taking over? And when all those jobs go away, how Up to half of all jobs in the US- HALF!- could be eliminated in the next decade or so by artificial intelligence, and this book is an important conversation about the implications of all that. This includes not only truck drivers, machinists, and retail employees but will hit doctors and lawyers as well. Machines in general are faster and more efficient in solving many of the complex problems that come up today- how do we rely on them without them taking over? And when all those jobs go away, how will we fill the new jobs that open up, most of which haven't been imagined yet? These new jobs will require tons more technological literacy than the old ones they are replacing. Kaplan looks at things that are going on now, like how computer algorithms are taking over many areas that used to rely on human judgement. He spends a great deal of time on the big issue with income inequality, and how these algorithms will allow a very tiny minority to control most of the information and most of the money. He finishes with a suggestion of grouping corporations by how much they benefit the public rather than themselves- something that lobbyists would surely oppose. This is a short book and well written in a conversational and not too technological style. I highly recommend it to folks like myself who could be replaced by a machine in the not too distant future.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bas Heetebrij

    I read this book whilst also watching the TV Series Humans, and I am not sure that the combination is particularly uplifting :-). Of course, this book addresses the fact that in the future humans need not apply for many of today's jobs. It naturally also recognises that today's workers may have troubles executing tomorrow's jobs and that we need to pro-actively manage this disconnect. Lastly, it does offer some ideas regarding how to manage income in a world where jobs may not be up for grabs. Al I read this book whilst also watching the TV Series Humans, and I am not sure that the combination is particularly uplifting :-). Of course, this book addresses the fact that in the future humans need not apply for many of today's jobs. It naturally also recognises that today's workers may have troubles executing tomorrow's jobs and that we need to pro-actively manage this disconnect. Lastly, it does offer some ideas regarding how to manage income in a world where jobs may not be up for grabs. All in all, I quite enjoyed the book. To be frank, we don't know exactly when this future will present itself, but it is clear that we better plan for it, if we want to have a chance to avoid/mitigate the major problems. This books certainly adds to the thinking around the subject, I would recommend it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    J.C. Ahmed

    The drastic impacts Artificial Intelligence will have on how we live doesn't get the attention it deserves. Jerry Kaplan gives a quick overview on some of these potential positives and negatives. The book includes some proposals on societal changes we need to make to ensure AI is beneficial rather than disastrous. It's a quick read and easy to understand making it a perfect introduction to the topic for everyone, including those with little interest in technical topics. The drastic impacts Artificial Intelligence will have on how we live doesn't get the attention it deserves. Jerry Kaplan gives a quick overview on some of these potential positives and negatives. The book includes some proposals on societal changes we need to make to ensure AI is beneficial rather than disastrous. It's a quick read and easy to understand making it a perfect introduction to the topic for everyone, including those with little interest in technical topics.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Adolfo Schael

    Excellent "outrospect" of our near future and the very provable ways it may be affected by the current developments on AI. I particularly liked his proposal for a better more model to ensure the more balanced distribution of wealth (this chapter should be mandatory reading for anyone working in public/economic policy making) Excellent "outrospect" of our near future and the very provable ways it may be affected by the current developments on AI. I particularly liked his proposal for a better more model to ensure the more balanced distribution of wealth (this chapter should be mandatory reading for anyone working in public/economic policy making)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Erin L

    Ridiculously interesting look at the potential future of technology and how AI can both benefit us and work against us. It'll be an interesting couple of decades coming up, time to really consider my retirement plans and how I'll pay for them :) Ridiculously interesting look at the potential future of technology and how AI can both benefit us and work against us. It'll be an interesting couple of decades coming up, time to really consider my retirement plans and how I'll pay for them :)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rob Tyrie

    this is an excellent wide ranging book. Written in 2014 - it predictions are proven in 2018 advanced and real deployment of technology identified here. I especially like the look into jobs, economy and laws.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Parker

    I love reading about AI, and Kaplan is an optimist in the field, so a lot of this book ended up being a "feel good" look into the future. He has plenty of great ideas, although I didn't expect as much focus on economics. I love reading about AI, and Kaplan is an optimist in the field, so a lot of this book ended up being a "feel good" look into the future. He has plenty of great ideas, although I didn't expect as much focus on economics.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kent Winward

    I read three books in succession and each did well for what their authors set out as their goals. Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane is the Utopian version of where technology is taking us. Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us provides the Dystopian view. While Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence contains the more nuanced approach. The wonder of technology is that all three versions are probably correct. I read three books in succession and each did well for what their authors set out as their goals. Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane is the Utopian version of where technology is taking us. Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us provides the Dystopian view. While Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence contains the more nuanced approach. The wonder of technology is that all three versions are probably correct.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lynne Pennington

    I "won" this book in a GoodReads giveaway and am really glad I did. The main problem that I can see is that this book, due to its subject matter, will likely not get the wide reading it deserves. You do not have to be a geek, a mathematician, an AI guru to read, understand, and appreciate this book. The author is obviously a very smart guy, yet has the common touch in writing and explaining what could be an obtuse subject. This book is not only about artificial intelligence, but also includes ec I "won" this book in a GoodReads giveaway and am really glad I did. The main problem that I can see is that this book, due to its subject matter, will likely not get the wide reading it deserves. You do not have to be a geek, a mathematician, an AI guru to read, understand, and appreciate this book. The author is obviously a very smart guy, yet has the common touch in writing and explaining what could be an obtuse subject. This book is not only about artificial intelligence, but also includes economics and sociology for spice. My main complaint is the author's optimism. It is great that he has so many creative solutions for income inequality, computers running amok, and many of the problems plaguing our country. But as in global warming, possible solutions take will on the part of people in general and policy makers in particular, which I simply don't see happening any time soon. Perhaps Prof. Kaplan can sway some of the sociopaths currently running things, but since he has had some of them in the classroom, it is doubtful. Still, the more people who read this book, the more people will understand at least some of what is going on. And as a nice side effect for me, I was inspired to re-read Asimov's Robot series, as well as his Empire and Foundation books. This is a very good book, and as another reviewer mentioned, un-put-down-able once you have begun to read it. I started at noon over the weekend, and closed it at 2 AM, having spent several hours enthralled with a fascinating topic.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jysoo

    This is a book on automation. Technological progresses and their societal implications of artificial intelligence and robots (which the author named as synthetic intellects and forged laborers) are discussed. What make this differ from other books on the subject are examples and action plans. Fewer examples are introduced in the book, both in number and area, but they are discussed in much more detail (many of them based on his personal experience). Regarding the action plans, the author gives m This is a book on automation. Technological progresses and their societal implications of artificial intelligence and robots (which the author named as synthetic intellects and forged laborers) are discussed. What make this differ from other books on the subject are examples and action plans. Fewer examples are introduced in the book, both in number and area, but they are discussed in much more detail (many of them based on his personal experience). Regarding the action plans, the author gives more progressive approach. It is often suggested that education and training, and more importantly, distribution of wealth should be re-designed to solve the problems caused by automation. The author gives a few suggestions on the issues which are more of a fix, rather than complete change of the system.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    Interesting exploration of the possible legal, economic and political ramifications of increasing automation in the next couple of decades. Much more grounded and less sensationalist than what has been written by futurists on topics such as 'the singularity'. The last chapter was particularly intriguing, in which he proposes corporate taxes be inversely linked to a measure of a company's holding by the general public as a means to counteract likely increasing capital in the hands of the increasin Interesting exploration of the possible legal, economic and political ramifications of increasing automation in the next couple of decades. Much more grounded and less sensationalist than what has been written by futurists on topics such as 'the singularity'. The last chapter was particularly intriguing, in which he proposes corporate taxes be inversely linked to a measure of a company's holding by the general public as a means to counteract likely increasing capital in the hands of the increasingly few. It's a short read, recommended to all and not just tech-enthusiasts.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tristan

    From the title, I hoped that this book would provide me future career advice. It did not. But it was an excellent overview of artificial intelligence, from its history to its likely effects on individuals, the economy, the law, and our ideas about autonomy and responsibility. And for a book on such big ideas, it was very easy to read. I also like the author's idea of providing tax breaks to companies with wider public ownership, to spread the ever-increasing wealth of the future. From the title, I hoped that this book would provide me future career advice. It did not. But it was an excellent overview of artificial intelligence, from its history to its likely effects on individuals, the economy, the law, and our ideas about autonomy and responsibility. And for a book on such big ideas, it was very easy to read. I also like the author's idea of providing tax breaks to companies with wider public ownership, to spread the ever-increasing wealth of the future.

  24. 4 out of 5

    James H Chittum

    Great read! It is commonplace, yet wrong, to claim that climate change is the most serious problem facing humanity. The more immediate threat is inequality of wealth and income. The author has some really fresh insights as a member of the 1% on how the tsunami of inequality can be reversed.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nat

    A nice short insightful read on how robots will soon be a dominant force in human life and how we have no reason to be afraid. I never really bought the robot apocalypse in the first place so good to have my belief validated.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ailith Twinning

    The pro-capitalist stance of this book irks me because it doesn't address any of what I consider to be fatal flaws and actual crimes systemic to the religion of capitalism (provocative descriptor deliberately chosen) -- but the basic science-ish speculation is just amusing as an exercise. The pro-capitalist stance of this book irks me because it doesn't address any of what I consider to be fatal flaws and actual crimes systemic to the religion of capitalism (provocative descriptor deliberately chosen) -- but the basic science-ish speculation is just amusing as an exercise.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alex Hern

    Muddy thinking, internally contradictory, and woefully narrowminded about the possibility of new paradigms for organising society beyond late-20th-century American capitalism. When the Radical New Idea for dealing with automation is “jobs mortgages”, something’s gone wrong.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Peter O'Kelly

    Some timely and thought-provoking ideas

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hom Sack

    Quite a sobering look into what is in store for us. However, all is not pessimistic. Among many of his short term solutions, I like best his idea of "job mortgages". Quite a sobering look into what is in store for us. However, all is not pessimistic. Among many of his short term solutions, I like best his idea of "job mortgages".

  30. 4 out of 5

    Angie Boyter

    See my Amazon review: https://www.amazon.com/review/R2R2644... See my Amazon review: https://www.amazon.com/review/R2R2644...

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