Review of The Second Machine Age: Technology and work: Learn ‘n’ go:
The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies. By Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. W.W. Norton; 320 pages; $26.95. IN 2012 Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee took a ride in one of Google’s driverless cars.... Only a few years earlier, 'We were sure that computers would not be able to drive cars'.... Machines have mastered driving. And not just driving. In ways that are only now becoming apparent, the authors argue, machines can forecast home prices, design beer bottles, teach at universities, grade exams and do countless other things better and more cheaply than humans.... Information technology... is... exponential... explosive... recombinant.... This will have one principal good consequence, and one bad. The good is bounty. Households will spend less on groceries, utilities and clothing; the deaf will be able to hear, the blind to see. The bad is spread. The gap is growing between the lucky few whose abilities and skills are enhanced by technology, and the far more numerous middle-skilled people competing for the remaining jobs that machines cannot do, such as folding towels and waiting at tables.