Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Brynjolfsson , Erik and McAfee , Andrew (2011), Race Against the Machine, Digital Frontier Press, Lexington, Massachusetts, Retrieved on 2012-01-04
  • Source Material [raceagainstthemachine.com]
  • Folksonomies: culture technology change employment

    Memes

    04 JAN 2012

     Workers Are Being Perpetually Displaced by Technology

    The third explanation for America’s current job creation problems flips the stagnation argument on its head, seeing not too little recent technological progress, but instead too much. We’ll call this the “end of work” argument, after Jeremy Rifkin’s 1995 book of the same title. In it, Rifkin laid out a bold and disturbing hypothesis: that “we are entering a new phase in world history—one in which fewer and fewer workers will be needed to produce the goods and services for the gl...
      1  notes

    We are innovating ourselves out of jobs for everyday people.

    An interesting reference to the exponential growth when the Vizicar asked the king for doubling growth of grains for each square of the chessboard he had invented. Not terribly large amounts at first, but they become vast as we work across the boards 64 squares.

    04 JAN 2012

     The Problem of Measuring Productivity

    Although the official productivity statistics are encouraging, they are far from perfect. They don’t do a very good job of accounting for quality, variety, timeliness, customer service, or other hard-to-measure aspects of output. While bushels of wheat and tons of steel are relatively easy to count, the quality of a teacher’s instruction, the value of more cereal choices in a supermarket, or the ability to get money from an ATM 24 hours a day is harder to assess. Compounding this measure...
    Folksonomies: employment productivity
    Folksonomies: employment productivity
      1  notes

    Productivity doesn't take into account improved qualities of life, free digital content online, or other non-quantifiable qualitative improvements in our lives.

    04 JAN 2012

     Increases in Wealth in the Last 30 Years have been in the...

    There have been trillions of dollars of wealth created in recent decades, but most of it went to a relatively small share of the population. In fact, economist Ed Wolff found that over 100% of all the wealth increase in America between 1983 and 2009 accrued to the top 20% of households. The other four-fifths of the population saw a net decrease in wealth over nearly 30 years. In turn, the top 5% accounted for over 80% of the net increase in wealth and the top 1% for over 40%. With almost a fr...
    Folksonomies: economics wealth 99 percent
    Folksonomies: economics wealth 99 percent
      1  notes

    The wealthier you are, the more wealthy you got.

    04 JAN 2012

     Innovation Means Recombination

    ...the process of innovation often relies heavily on the combining and recombining of previous innovations, the broader and deeper the pool of accessible ideas and individuals, the more opportunities there are for innovation. We are in no danger of running out of new combinations to try. Even if technology froze today, we have more possible ways of configuring the different applications, machines, tasks, and distribution channels to create new processes and products than we could ever exhaus...
    Folksonomies: innovation combinations
    Folksonomies: innovation combinations
      1  notes

    Take innovations and recombine them to produce new innovations. We have so many innovations today that the potential in immense.

    04 JAN 2012

     The U-Shape of Automation

    As we look ahead, we see these three trends not only accelerating but also evolving. For instance, new research by David Autor and David Dorn has put an interesting twist on the SBTC story. They find that the relationship between skills and wages has recently become U-shaped. In the most recent decade, demand has fallen most for those in the middle of the skill distribution. The highest-skilled workers have done well, but interestingly those with the lowest skills have suffered less than thos...
    Folksonomies: employment automation
    Folksonomies: employment automation
      1  notes

    People in semi-skilled jobs have been the ones most automated out of jobs, while highly-technical and more menial jobs have remained.

    04 JAN 2012

     Shifting From Labor to Capital Reduces Demands

    Finally, it’s easy to see how a shift in income from labor to capital would lead to a similar reduction in overall demand. Capitalists tend to save more of each marginal dollar than laborers. In the short run, a transfer from laborers to capitalists reduces total consumption, and thus total GDP. This phenomenon is summarized in a classic though possibly apocryphal story: Ford CEO Henry Ford II and United Automobile Workers president Walter Reuther are jointly touring a modern auto plant. Fo...
    Folksonomies: employment automation
    Folksonomies: employment automation
      1  notes

    Because the workers automated out of jobs can't buy things.

    04 JAN 2012

     The Population Must Increase Education to Stay Ahead of T...

    ...the relative demand for skilled labor is closely correlated with advances in technology, particularly digital technologies. Hence, the moniker “skill-biased technical change,” or SBTC. There are two distinct components to recent SBTC. Technologies like robotics, numerically controlled machines, computerized inventory control, and automatic transcription have been substituting for routine tasks, displacing those workers. Meanwhile other technologies like data visualization, analytics, h...
      1  notes

    As people are automated out of jobs, society must increase their educations in order to keep them on top of the machines.

    04 JAN 2012

     Computers and Creative Writing

    And for all their power and speed, today’s digital machines have shown little creative ability. They can’t compose very good songs, write great novels, or generate good ideas for new businesses. Apparent exceptions here only prove the rule. A prankster used an online generator of abstracts for computer science papers to create a submission that was accepted for a technical conference (in fact, the organizers invited the “author” to chair a panel), but the abstract was simply a series ...
    Folksonomies: writing automation
    Folksonomies: writing automation
      1  notes

    A computer successfully got a paper accepted to a technical conference by stringing technical jargon together, which is similar to a scientist who once got a nonsense post-modernist paper published in a journal, but computers can write sports news stories due to their formulaic nature.

    04 JAN 2012

     Online Shopping Replaces Sales People

    During the Great Recession, nearly 1 in 12 people working in sales in America lost their job, accelerating a trend that had begun long before. In 1995, for example, 2.08 people were employed in “sales and related” occupations for every $1 million of real GDP generated that year. By 2002 (the last year for which consistent data are available), that number had fallen to 1.79, a decline of nearly 14 percent.
    Folksonomies: employment automation
    Folksonomies: employment automation
      1  notes

    Everytime you purchase something online, that's something you didn't purchase from a retail clerk.

    04 JAN 2012

     How IBM's Watson Pattern-Matches to Answer Trivia

    The way Watson plays the game also requires massive amounts of pattern matching. The supercomputer has been loaded with hundreds of millions of unconnected digital documents, including encyclopedias and other reference works, newspaper stories, and the Bible. When it receives a question, it immediately goes to work to figure out what is being asked (using algorithms that specialize in complex communication), then starts querying all these documents to find and match patterns in search of the ...
      1  notes

    And how it does it so fast.