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Author Martin Ford Discusses Technology Undermining Human Labor


Imagine a world where you are driven to work by a driverless car, your morning news is written by a computer, and your lunch is prepared by a robot. In such a world, it would not be a stretch to wonder if humans were about to become obsolete. We’ve already seen this scenario play out in movies and popular novels.  But according to today’s guest, there are reasons to worry about how new technologies are reshaping the real world right now.

Martin Ford is the founder of a Silicon Valley-based software development firm and the author of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future.  In the book, now out in paperback, Mr. Ford makes the case that technology is advancing so quickly that robots and computers soon will be able to do nearly all of our jobs. And these days they are not just replacing muscle, he tells us, but also brain power. Unless we find a way to tackle this complex issue, the result could be vast unemployment and a broken economy.

Martin Ford has degrees in computer engineering and business, and more than 25 years of experience in computer design and software development.  The interview was part of our ongoing series on Humans and Technology. The series features diverse perspectives from authors who have written about the challenges and opportunities new technologies bring.