February 11th, 2014
05:01 PM ET

Understanding the 'Second Machine Age'

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

Fareed speaks with Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor of management at MIT's Sloan School, and Andrew McAfee, a scientist at the MIT Center for Digital Business about the future of technology and their book The Second Machine Age.

OK, so you guys end the book optimistically. And I want to give you a chance to explain that, even though I think a lot of this will trouble people. So what can you do when confronting this reality of rising productivity and machines that are replacing humans, even at the very high end of the food chain?

McAfee:  Yes.  So for now, we're still adding jobs every month to the economy.  So we have not totally decoupled job growth from economic growth. That indicates that the right policies for right now are to stimulate economic growth. Job growth will come along with it. So let's get our infrastructure in great shape. Let's get our immigration policies correct. Let's fix our educational system and let's create a great environment for entrepreneurship, not because some entrepreneurs get rich and we love rich people, but because entrepreneurs are the great engine of job creation. That's the right Econ 101 playbook for the short-term.

Am I going to be out of a job?

Brynjolfsson: No time soon, but we all have to keep reinventing the way we work together with computers. And that's the part that's lagging right now. The technology is racing ahead, but our skills, our organizations, our economic policies, are lagging behind. We wanted to change the conversation with this book and get people thinking about how to speed up that part of society.

Watch the video for the full interview.

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Topics: GPS Show • Technology

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soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    The persons who are hired will change even more than they already have. It has not been necessary to possess an operatic voice to become an opera star since secret "acoustical enhancement" began many decades ago.

    February 12, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    The entire power structure of opera houses has changed since rampant amplification of practically inaudible voices began.

    February 12, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
  3. chrissy

    Lol @ Joey and good evening my friend. Does this mean we will one day have opera singing robots?

    February 12, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
  4. Diana Skelton

    Already, the ways all of us interact with one another have been changing quickly, as more and more people in public places keep their eyes glued to their own telephone screen rather than looking at one another, and as cable news and the internet can make it possible for each person to hear a version of current events filtered by those they already agree with instead of hearing rigorously fact-checked news that may challenge our individual bias. How else will things change if the upper middle-classes decide they would prefer to have robots caring for their family members instead of ever hiring working-class home health aides or nannies? http://togetherindignity.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/the-gated-communities-of-machines-virtual-life/

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