Martin Ford – Rise of the robots

Why did I choose to read the book?

This book has been the winner of the 2015 Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award and I wanted to know what the fuss is all about. Also, the books subtitle “Technology and the threat of a jobless future” sounded interesting enough to warrant a read.

What is it about?

Ford shows with this book, how technological advances, specifically those in software and robotics, will render a lot of jobs, currently considered safe (paralegal, nurse, truck driver…) obsolete. He starts with an historical analysis, how automation has changed the world and availability of jobs, then introduces technologies which are partially available today and are expected to upend whole industries.

How did I like the book?

I really like the book. I like the way it has been written and I really like the theme and content. Also, I find this book scary, terrifying even. At the same time, a lot of the content should be taken with a grain of salt. Yes, a lot of jobs are even today subject to automation, but I doubt all of the impending changes described will come to pass as predicted. Still, the realistic descriptions on what jobs will likely be automated, on how politics and the whole economic system is not far off an paradigm shift is simply terrifying and too realistic and close to home. Everyone interested in the possible ramifications on oneself, one’s family and job should certainly take a look.