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This is certainly one of the best books I've read on the subject of technology, the near future of the disruptions, how society will react, and the options it has to deal with the new age of machines and information.
I commend Tim O'Reilly and thank him for putting it all out there. This book is engaging, not technical, yet very detailed in its accounts of the emerging world run by algorithms, machines and information. One thing is certain. The change will be no less dramatic than the advent of farming. The industrial revolution will be looked at like a walk in the park when compared to what we have installed for us.
The author was very astute and realistic on the very near future. The upcoming technology revolution is a potent tool, that is a colossal magnifier. We should expect extreme growth and change on an unprecedented level. There is a great opportunity for abundance, but whether this abundance will enrich the very few or spread across society is the difference between a bright or gloomy future.
His proposition that we don't have to be worried about a super artificial intelligence threat, because the "hybrid artificial intelligence" is not only here but will destroy society unless drastic changes are enacted is spot on.
The "Master algorithm of shareholder capitalism" is the hybrid entity that if not checked and amended quickly will destroy civilisation as we know it. It is the tragedy of the commons played out in a cosmic scale.
If things go well and we change and defeat this hybrid entity, we will be looking at a future brighter than history has ever seen. People will not have jobs. Not because they want them and there isn't any, but because they have what they need and they can peruse life as it should be lived, the way they want it. "It is not Jobs that we need, it's work" and we will have more than enough of that.
This is a must read for everyone! Especially the idealists that have lost hope in the midst of cynics, cheaters, and an unfair world that rewards the individual at the cost of many. We will have everything to fear if Artificial Intelligence is built with this goal in hand. Great EYE OPENER!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Is there anything you would change about this book?
On a positive note, the book started out very well and is often insightful and thought-provoking. The book is a bit too long for the content provided. It also fails to really talk about the future (for example the chapter on "supermoney" never mentions cryptocurrencies. It also uses the "I" word far too often, sometimes feeling like a chronicle of Tim's accomplishments and involvement in the development of technology over the past several decades.
Would you be willing to try another book from Tim O'Reilly? Why or why not?
Probably not - I think he laid out the expanse of his thinking here - and its very good thinking.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful