My New Book “Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future” – releasing on May 5, 2015

My new book Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future will be available on May 5 in the U.S. (and via Amazon in many other countries) in hardcover, eBook and audio book. The publisher is Basic Books.

A Chinese translation will release simultaneously from CITIC publishing and a revised version, completely updated for the United Kingdom and with a slightly different title, will release in the UK in September.

Rise of the RobotsYou can see a description and order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or IndieBound.

A review by Kirkus can be found here, and here are some brief comments by Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution.

Here is the Table of Contents:

Introduction ix
Chapter 1 The Automation Wave   1
Chapter 2 Is This Time Different?   29
Chapter 3 Information Technology: An Unprecedented Force for Disruption   63
Chapter 4 White-Collar Jobs at Risk   83
Chapter 5 Transforming Higher Education   129
Chapter 6 The Health Care Challenge   145
Chapter 7 Technologies and Industries of the Future   175
Chapter 8 Consumers, Limits to Growth . . . and Crisis?   193
Chapter 9 Super-Intelligence and the Singularity   229
Chapter 10 Toward a New Economic Paradigm   249
Conclusion   281
Acknowledgments   285
Notes   287
Index   317

And here are some comments by a few notable early reviewers:

“Martin Ford’s Rise of the Robots is a very important, timely, and well-informed book.  Smart machines, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and the “Internet of things” are transforming every sector of the economy.  Machines can outperform workers in a rapidly widening arc of activities.  Will smart machines lead to a world of plenty, leisure, health care, and education for all; or to a world of inequality, mass unemployment, and a war between the haves and have-nots, and between the machines and the workers left behind?  Ford doesn’t claim to have all of the answers, but he asks the right questions and offers a highly informed and panoramic view of the debate.  This is an excellent book that offers us a sophisticated glimpse into our possible futures.”

—Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute, Columbia University and author of The Age of Sustainable Development

“It’s not easy to accept, but it’s true. Education and hard work will no longer guarantee success for huge numbers of people as technology advances. The time for denial is over. Now it’s time to consider solutions and there are very few proposals on the table. Rise of the Robots presents one idea, the basic income model, with clarity and force.  No one who cares about the future of human dignity can afford to skip this book.”

—Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not a Gadget and Who Owns the Future?

“Martin Ford has thrust himself into the center of the debate over AI, big data, and the future of the economy with a shrewd look at the forces shaping our lives and work. As an entrepreneur pioneering many of the trends he uncovers, he speaks with special credibility, insight, and verve. Business people, policy makers, and professionals of all sorts should read this book right away—before the ‘bots steal their jobs. Ford gives us a roadmap to the future.”

—Kenneth Cukier, Data Editor for the Economist and co-author of Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think

“Ever since the Luddites, pessimists have believed that technology would destroy jobs. So far they have been wrong. Martin Ford shows with great clarity why today’s automated technology will be much more destructive of jobs than previous technological innovation. This is a book that everyone concerned with the future of work must read.”

—Lord Robert Skidelsky, Emeritus Professor of Political Economy at the University of Warwick, co-author of How Much Is Enough?: Money and the Good Life, and author of the three-volume biography of John Maynard Keynes

“If the robots are coming for my job (too), then Martin Ford is the person I want on my side, not to fend them off but to construct a better world where we can all—humans and our machines—live more prosperously together. Rise of the Robots goes far beyond the usual fear-mongering punditry to suggest an action plan for a better future.”

—Cathy N. Davidson, Distinguished Professor and Director, The Futures Initiative, The Graduate Center, CUNY and author of Now You See It:  How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn

9 thoughts on “My New Book “Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future” – releasing on May 5, 2015

  1. I read “Lights in the Tunnel” soon after its initial publication. The argument – that human displacement in the workforce by technology (or machines) is materially different, this time, was well crafted. And chilling. I expect this new work will be a still more compelling call to acknowledge and address a disruption that appears both total and inevitable.

  2. I just got an email from Amazon that my Kindle pre-order of your new book was now converted to an actual sale. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book and can’t wait to dig into it! I see there’s an audio CD format. Is there an MP3 digital download version, too? I’d love to get this! Thanks!!! Brad

  3. I just finished reading “Rise of the Robots.” It really fills out the details on trends hinted at in other things I’ve read and seen, well done. I’m totally on board with guaranteed income being the best solution.

    For your next book, have you considered a look at possible social changes that might result? Your focus is on technology and economics, so this might be outside your expertise, but it’d be interesting.

    I also just read “Debt:The First 5,000 Years” by David Graeber, an anthropologist. Among other things, he shows that many of the first “money” systems were not about exchange of goods and services but rather measures of honor.

    It occurs to me that in an economy where most production is done by robots and AI, fewer humans will have incentives to make money as we currently have it. However, humans need to participate, achieve, and be recognized by their fellows. In the future, whole segments of human employment could have honors and privileges as motivators rather than cash. Think of the military and its medals, for example.

    These are my thoughts. I’d love to see people explore this idea further. Maybe I will myself. Maybe others already have. … Exciting stuff!

  4. Congrats Martin on publication of “Rise of the Robots,” very important book. Be advised that associates and I have completed a 32 minute video that offers an alternative non-money solution to ALL of our current economic problems, and we do have the technology to implement this system immediately, if we have the will as a society to do so. We call this system Universal Economics. We have created a website, where you can view the video:

    The video is also on YouTube. This new system is simple, elegant, and fair to everybody. It completely eradicates poverty, has no taxes, and releases fullest human potential. And it fully solves our debt crisis. This is the economic system we need now as our technology is progressing, an answer to the profound questions/problems raised in your book. Take a look.

  5. Mr Ford.
    I recently read both your books and I strongly agree. You eloquently describe the views I’ve been progressing towards for the past decade.

    There is, however, one factor that I feel is missing from your arguments. In my view there is nothing more disruptive to the social fabric that too many young men with too little to do. I feel that the rise in global structural unemployment as been a major factor in the rise of organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIS.

    The challenge is to find something meaningful and constructive for the masses of unemployed and underemployed young people to do. Otherwise they are easy prey for fanatical demagogues. These fanatical organizations seem to favour a quasi-medieval society with themselves at the top and armed with late 20th century weaponry. If these fanatical organizations continue to grow in strength and reach, thoughts about automation and robotics will be mostly irrelevant.

    PS: I’m in my late 60s and retired. I’d be curious to see how the future works out, but I don’t think I want to live there.

  6. More than 100 years, from the beginning of the industrial revolution, they trying to scare us of job losses. Meanwhile, mister Martin Ford doing good money from sailing his empty of content, or, lets say, cheap entertainment, book.

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