Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines

An invigorating, thought-provoking, and positive look at the rise of automation that explores how professionals across industries can find sustainable careers in the near future.

Nearly half of all working Americans could risk losing their jobs because of technology. It’s not only blue-collar jobs at stake. Millions of educated knowledge workers—writers, paralegals, assistants, medical technicians—are threatened by accelerating advances in artificial intelligence.

The industrial revolution shifted workers from farms to factories. In the first era of automation, machines relieved humans of manually exhausting work. Today, Era Two of automation continues to wash across the entire services-based economy that has replaced jobs in agriculture and manufacturing. Era Three, and the rise of AI, is dawning. Smart computers are demonstrating they are capable of making better decisions than humans. Brilliant technologies can now decide, learn, predict, and even comprehend much faster and more accurately than the human brain, and their progress is accelerating. Where will this leave lawyers, nurses, teachers, and editors?

In Only Humans Need Apply, Thomas Hayes Davenport and Julia Kirby reframe the conversation about automation, arguing that the future of increased productivity and business success isn’t either human or machine. It’s both. The key is augmentation, utilizing technology to help humans work better, smarter, and faster. Instead of viewing these machines as competitive interlopers, we can see them as partners and collaborators in creative problem solving as we move into the next era. The choice is ours.

Infonomics: How to Monetize, Manage, and Measure Information as an Asset for Competitive Advantage

Many senior executives talk about information as one of their most important assets, but few behave as if it is. They report to the board on the health of their workforce, their financials, their customers, and their partnerships, but rarely the health of their information assets. Corporations typically exhibit greater discipline in tracking and accounting for their office furniture than their data. Infonomics is the theory, study, and discipline of asserting economic significance to information. It strives to apply both economic and asset management principles and practices to the valuation, handling, and deployment of information assets. This book specifically shows: CEOs and business leaders how to more fully wield information as a corporate asset CIOs how to improve the flow and accessibility of information CFOs how to help their organizations measure the actual and latent value in their information assets. More directly, this book is for the burgeoning force of chief data officers (CDOs) and other information and analytics leaders in their valiant struggle to help their organizations become more infosavvy. Author Douglas Laney has spent years researching and developing Infonomics and advising organizations on the infinite opportunities to monetize, manage, and measure information. This book delivers a set of new ideas, frameworks, evidence, and even approaches adapted from other disciplines on how to administer, wield, and understand the value of information. Infonomics can help organizations not only to better develop, sell, and market their offerings, but to transform their organizations altogether.

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives – whether we get a job or a loan, how much we pay for insurance – are being made by mathematical models. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness- everyone is judged according to the same rules, and bias is eliminated. But as Cathy O’Neil reveals in this urgent and necessary book, the opposite is true. The models being used today are opaque, unregulated, and incontestable, even when they’re wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination, creating a toxic cocktail for democracy. Tracing the arc of a person’s life, Cathy O’Neil exposes the black box models that shape our future as individuals and as a society. These “weapons of math destruction” score teachers and students, sort CVs, grant or deny loans, evaluate workers, target voters and monitor our health. O’Neilcalls on modellers to take more responsibility for their algorithms and on policy makers to regulate their use. But in the end, it’s up to us to become more savvy about the models that govern our lives.

Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy

In 2006, co-authors Robert Scoble and Shel Israel wrote Naked Conversations, a book that persuaded businesses to embrace what we now call social media. Six years later they have teamed up again to report that social media is but one of five converging forces that promise to change virtually every aspect of our lives. You know these other forces already: mobile, data, sensors and location-based technology. Combined with social media they form a new generation of personalized technology that knows us better than our closest friends. Armed with that knowledge our personal devices can anticipate what we’ll need next and serve us better than a butler or an executive assistant. The resulting convergent superforce is so powerful that it is ushering in a era the authors call the Age of Context. In this new era, our devices know when to wake us up early because it snowed last night; they contact the people we are supposed to meet with to warn them we’re running late. They even find content worth watching on television. They also promise to cure cancer and make it harder for terrorists to do their damage. Astoundingly, in the coming age you may only receive ads you want to see. Scoble and Israel have spent more than a year researching this book. They report what they have learned from interviewing more than a hundred pioneers of the new technology and by examining hundreds of contextual products. What does it all mean? How will it change society in the future? The authors are unabashed tech enthusiasts, but as they write, an elephant sits in the living room of our book and it is called privacy. We are entering a time when our technology serves us best because it watches us; collecting data on what we do, who we speak with, what we look at. There is no doubt about it: Big Data is watching you. The time to lament the loss of privacy is over. The authors argue that the time is right to demand options that enable people to reclaim some portions of that privacy.

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth, and Impact the World

From the coauthors of the “New York Times” bestseller “Abundance” comes their much anticipated follow-up: “Bold” a radical, how-to guide for using exponential technologies, moonshot thinking, and crowd-powered tools to create extraordinary wealth while also positively impacting the lives of billions. “Bold” unfolds in three parts. Part One focuses on the exponential technologies that are disrupting today s Fortune 500 companies and enabling upstart entrepreneurs to go from “I ve got an idea” to “I run a billion-dollar company” far faster than ever before. The authors provide exceptional insight into the power of 3D printing, artificial intelligence, robotics, networks and sensors, and synthetic biology. Part Two of the book focuses on the Psychology of Bold, drawing on insights from billionaire entrepreneurs Larry Page, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos. In addition, Diamandis reveals his entrepreneurial secrets garnered from building fifteen companies, including such audacious ventures as Singularity University, XPRIZE, Planetary Resources, and Human Longevity, Inc. Finally, “Bold” closes with a look at the best practices that allow anyone to leverage today s hyper-connected crowd like never before. Here, the authors teach how to design and use incentive competitions, launch million-dollar crowdfunding campaigns to tap into ten s of billions of dollars of capital, and finally how to build communities armies of exponentially enabled individuals willing and able to help today s entrepreneurs make their boldest dreams come true. “Bold “is both a manifesto and a manual. It” “is today s exponential entrepreneur s go-to resource on the use of emerging technologies, thinking at scale, and the awesome power of crowd-powered tools.”