Book notes from Ryan Avent’s “The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century.”
The Future of Work
A new intelligence permeates the workplace. It augments the human brain in some cases and replaces it in others. When wired to robots of various types, it takes over the muscles of humanity, moving packages in warehouses, answering support calls with customers, and even telling us what products and pictures those customers are likely to be most interested in.
The questions now arising from diffusion of this new intelligence through our companies, government agencies, and other organizations is this: what will we do with the bounty of our new found power? Down one road lies more of the same, a steady extraction of wealth from our organizations and communities, as our technology marches to the beat of the siren of “shareholder primacy.” Down the other road is a much brighter future, one marked by more meaningful work, work that connects us, work that ensures the well being of all stakeholders and work that helps to heal the world.
This article originally appeared in YES! Magazine and was then picked up this morning by AlterNet where it is now featured on the homepage. It’s about addressing the threat of technological unemployment (the large-scale loss of jobs to automation) by expanding who ‘owns the robots’ — i.e. who owns the companies that are doing the automating. …