Apr 21, 2014
Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee are both MIT professors. They also wrote a book together called The Second Machine Age and it’s amazing. Over the last few decades, technology has been increasing at an exponential rate. In the 1960s, the creators of Star Trek imagined that centuries in the future there would be a handheld device that would be a communicator, scanner and computer called a tricorder. Turns out it’s called an iPhone and it took way less time to develop. Driverless cars exist and are getting better all the time; 3D printing is already in commercial use; robots are doing more and more jobs than ever before. Technologies that seemed like part of a distant future are increasingly a part of our everyday reality. In this book, the two professors go way beyond examining what these technologies are and look at how they are affecting our society already and what we can expect in the next few decades. In this interview, we find out how AI, robotics and nanotechnology will affect business, the distribution of wealth and the search for a job. (We also talk about how likely a Terminator-type scenario is.) Professors Brynjolfsson and McAfee can’t tell you how to survive a Zombie Apocalypse; they can give you good advice on how to cope with a much more realistic challenge: the rise of the robots.Their book is available pretty much everywhere because that’s how things are in the Second Machine Age. You can follow them on twitter at @erikbryn and @amcafee. Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes.