Will Robots Take Your Job?

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: Not set

Member Reviews

After reading Life 3.0 and Superintelligence, I found this book to be a good compliment to them. Thinking about what jobs will withstand the test of time is both important and crucial to our ability to stay relevant over time.
Was this review helpful?
In this whirlwind overview of the topic, Cameron touches on the causes and implications of an increasingly automated labor force, yet explores none of them in great depth. As a result, his main assertion, that we must plan ahead for the risks of unprecedented unemployment rates due to robots rapidly replacing traditional jobs, comes across more as a hodgepodge of anecdotes rather than a coherent thesis. 

Totaling just four brief chapters, the total amount of content presented here is low. Cameron touches on many ideas, but his coverage only scrapes the surface of each of them. I would have liked instead to see a full-length exposition of each of these topics.

It was hard for me to identify the intended audience. The book assumes a certain prior level of understanding of economics (e.g. increasing minimum wage will incentive employers to replace human labor with robots), but readers who have this prior knowledge and have thought before about the problem of robots replacing our workforce will not find much new in this book. And although I have limited knowledge of this topic, I still didn’t find much content here that I haven’t already seen from popular media sources. Perhaps the book offers an initial introduction to the topic for someone with almost no background in the area; however, in that case, I’d question whether the author explains the topics well enough for a newcomer to grasp their significance.

That said, what did I like? Despite the limited exploration of the idea within, I believe the themes Cameron identifies are right on point. His assertion that we should prepare for the risks of systemic unemployment, even if it’s possible that our economy will be more resilient than we expect, is crucial. The final chapter in particular proposes several potential policy changes, which may serve as a stepping point for readers into a more focused exploration of policies and education that will be necessary for us to cope with the coming robotification of our labor force.


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2439174286?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1
Was this review helpful?
I feel like this book does a poor job of executing what it set itself off to do. There are some interesting snippets about the potential and existing roles robots have in some industries. But, I feel this adds very little to what is already an ongoing discussion. It also lacks real theories or solutions. 

At the same time, the writing and the format are quite confusing, they make the book feel more incomplete than I guess it would be supposed to by this stage of the publication. I think this needs some critical revising and rewriting. The subject matter and the intentions are good, the book just needs more relevant and denser work put into it.
Was this review helpful?
I read this book in parallel to Superintelligence (Not exactly parallel, my progress with Superintelligence was quite slow). On one hand, the central idea of Superintelligence, as I understand till now, is that AI will outmaneuver and outsmart humans & would grow up as an existential threat to humanity, while “Will Robots take your Jobs?” talks of the threats of unemployment and a jobless future. Even though, till now I am convinced that the concerns regarding the Superintelligent AI overthrowing humanity in a time like ours are baseless, the threat of rising unemployment and a jobless future is for real. We can already see what's coming through the momentous advent of fully autonomous cars. 

There's no denying that there is a dire need to create new jobs for humans or the idea of basic income seems inevitable. 

However, there is now quite a lot of literature already available in the market on the same and having read few of them, I didn't get a great many new insights.
Was this review helpful?
This was such an introspective book as it makes the reader think about ways in which technological advancements is making the requirements of certain jobs obsolete.
Was this review helpful?
The premise of artificial intelligence is immensely interesting. The discussions in this book are worth reading, although some I do not personally agree with, but a must read for anyone who wants to understand the coming age of AI better.
Was this review helpful?
This book is full of references from the beginning, however I do think this book covers long term of this topic, and as such, maybe some of the things covered you won't see them in your lifetime.

Also, quite short and full of interesting facts about automation.
Was this review helpful?
In Will Robots Take Your Job? A Plea for Consensus, Nigel M. de S. Cameron asks what is a more and more realistic question.  So, will a robot take my job?  Maybe.  It depends.  Ask the bank teller who was displaced by the ATM.  Ask the grocery store checker displaced by self-checkout stations.  Ask any former assembly line worker.  Ask the taxi driver soon to be displaced by self-driving cars.

De Cameron takes a broad view of the impact of mechanical intelligence and robot workers on employment trends.  Reviewing an array of research, he determines that "there is wide agreement that the development of Artificial Intelligence and robotics is set to have an enormous impact on the future of human work--driving up productivity, but in the process narrowing or completely shutting down many traditional jobs."  While some jobs are more at risk than others, "it would be unwise to bet on any particular human function being 'secure'--safe for our species to perform, safe from the rivalry of machines."

The levels of displacement run deeper than might be obvious.  For instance, we hear a lot about driverless cars.  Obviously, taxi drivers, truck drivers, and Uber drivers' jobs would be at risk.  But if, as expected, driverless cars lead to fewer people owning cars, jobs related to the manufacture and repair of cars would diminish.  Driverless cars would be safer, so auto accidents would drop, leaving ERs without a major client base.  The ripples go on and on.

Many observers point out that historically, when new technologies displace workers, new jobs or whole industries arise.  De Cameron is not so sure that there will be enough jobs to replace those taken by AI and robots.  Will Robots Take Your Job? is a readable introduction to this topic.  It asks more questions than it answers, and ends up wishy washy on the questions he asks.  It will definitely get you thinking about whether you need to reexamine your own career choices.


Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely loved this book, this is my first non fiction (futuristic read). Lots of useful insight, and what future (workforce), rightly so as per the title might hold for us. There are places where i felt, it was a repeat of the same 'issues', however i guess author wants to emphasis a point. Funnily though, just after I read a book - I heard Facebook founder, talking about the similar issues ( i felt as if he's read this book).

This is a must read for anyone who is intereseted in 'AI/Machine Learning/Robotic develpment'....Top future career can be a ' Recreational Therapist' T---- Now that sounds like a fun job :)
Was this review helpful?
Warnings that the profession you're learning to become or keep will extinct within years or you being replaced by machines are not new. It should not surprise that politicians don't talk about it much either. They rather talk about spending money on targets voters like than telling them the truth of chances getting structurally unemployed.

In Will Robots Take Your Job, think tank panelist, TEDx speaker, and CEO Nigel M. de S. Cameron let 20th Century economists John M. Keynes and Norbert Wiener speak again. Although studies differ on the exact unemployment percentage, these should be alarming. The productivity paradox is somewhat busted with examples like Uber, Instagram, and Snapchat giving a job to just a few.

This short book triggers your thinking about your own job future. Can it be replaced by a machine? Technology progresses. Complex processes that we always thought of being unique to humans to perform are now done by computers. With the rise of Internet of Things and Moore's Law still valid, the future is both bright and promising, and dangerous and challenging.
Was this review helpful?