New technologies have always provoked panic about workers being replaced by machines. In the past, such fears have been misplaced, and many economists maintain that they remain so today. Yet in A World Without Work, Daniel Susskind shows why this time really is different. Advances in artificial intelligence mean that all kinds of tasks – from diagnosing illnesses to drafting contracts – are increasingly within the reach of computers. The threat of technological unemployment is real.
So how can we all thrive in a world with less work? Susskind reminds us that technological progress could bring about unprecedented prosperity, solving one of mankind’s oldest problems: how to ensure everyone has enough to live on. The challenge will be to distribute this prosperity fairly, constrain the power of Big Tech, and provide meaning in a world where work is no longer the centre of our lives. In this visionary, pragmatic and ultimately hopeful book, Susskind shows us the way.
‘This is the book to read on the future of work in the age of artificial intelligence. It is thoughtful and state-of-the-art on the economics of the issue, but its real strength is the way it goes beyond just the economics’ Lawrence Summers, former Chief Economist of the World Bank. ‘A fascinating book about a vitally important topic. Elegant, original and compelling’ Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist.