• A World Without Work

  • Technology, Automation, and How We Should Respond
  • By: Daniel Susskind
  • Narrated by: Daniel Susskind
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (200 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"An Oxford economics professor, Susskind has a patient delivery that benefits from his authoritative voice and scholarly view of this speculative subject...an important and eye-opening audiobook." (AudioFile Magazine) 

This program is read by the author.

From an Oxford economist, a visionary account of how technology will transform the world of work, and what we should do about it.

From mechanical looms to the combustion engine to the first computers, new technologies have always provoked panic about workers being replaced by machines. For centuries, such fears have been misplaced, and many economists maintain that they remain so today. But as Daniel Susskind demonstrates, this time really is different. Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence mean that all kinds of jobs are increasingly at risk.

Drawing on almost a decade of research in the field, Susskind argues that machines no longer need to think like us in order to outperform us, as was once widely believed. As a result, more and more tasks that used to be far beyond the capability of computers - from diagnosing illnesses to drafting legal contracts, from writing news reports to composing music - are coming within their reach. The threat of technological unemployment is now real.This is not necessarily a bad thing, Susskind emphasizes. Technological progress could bring about unprecedented prosperity, solving one of humanity’s oldest problems: how to make sure that everyone has enough to live on. The challenges will be to distribute this prosperity fairly, to constrain the burgeoning power of Big Tech, and to provide meaning in a world where work is no longer the center of our lives. Perceptive, pragmatic, and ultimately hopeful, A World Without Work shows the way. 

©2020 Daniel Susskind (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

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  • Overall
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    4 out of 5 stars

Technology deflation through the econ lens

Susskind, along with most economists is trapped by existing economic models, economics has a foundation of scarcity in it's models. What he doesn't say is that technology is both deflationary and exponential, he dodges this as an issue, if you look at the trends for Moore's Law, Swanson's Law, or the Cost of Genome sequencing you see cost curves that are accelerating. Susskind's Conditional Basic Income (CBI) doesn't address the accelerating nature of these factors and his dismissal of UBI doesn't address this either.

5 people found this helpful

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The solution... more government!

This idea that equality can and should be fixed with the force of the government. So marx and so stupid.

2 people found this helpful

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Curious look at the world of work in ~past, future

Listening to this in Audible is the best way to quickly digest what is pointed out in the book. I wished more material / speculation was dedicated to the last chapter, which was what intrigued me the most and decided to pick up Mr. Susskind's insightful work. Bravo!

2 people found this helpful

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nothing new, but it reinforced my conclusions

I grew up and continue to consume Sci Fi and my mind exists more comfortably in 20 years, 100 years, 1000 years in the future. This was an exploration by an academic of the same ideas the last century of Science Fiction has been screaming.

1 person found this helpful

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You change as you read!

Absolutely mindblowing, transformative comparisons, projections and conclusions about the future brought to the reader from a totally new perspectives and prisms... finding answers or pondering about their absence on how the world should prepare for technological unemployment, automation anxiety, providing evidence of how AI or AGI will effect every corner or sphere of our lives starting from remodeling of the societies, policy making, economy, social values, morale, education and even religions as we know them today and as we approach the world with less work for humans.
A MUST read not only for those in whose hands our future lives lay, but for every citizen on this planet by all means!

1 person found this helpful

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good listen , worth the time

great listen , sections may appear unstructured and repetitive for some parts but very throughly researched and facts about future of work drawing upon historical learnings and how to prepare for what is to come in the age of AI and Automarion and addressing a key aspect of work when it relates to ability to learn but meaningful work and how it would change.

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Brilliant.

I hope when you are not working you have the privilege to enjoy this book
Steven Lamm m.d

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Superficial content

The auther takes 2/3 of the book to built an argument that AI will leave people without work. It is better to spend the intelectual potential and write a book where 2/3 of it is dedicated to tinkering about possible solutions. It is really a very poor account of what future may be.

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points are repeated multiple times..

Would not recommend unless you believe a big government can solve the future of work.

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Interesting but hard to listen to

This is a really interesting book, but the reader sounds like a British Christopher Walken. If his cadence were easier, or at least consistent with grammatical conventions, it would be substantially more enjoyable. It’s just so hard to appreciate the content when I am continually confronted with these awkward pauses that dominate the whole presentation.