New technologies have always provoked panic about workers being replaced by machines.
In the past, such fears have been misplaced, and many economists maintain that they remain so today. Yet in A World Without Work, Daniel Susskind shows why this time really is different. Advances in artificial intelligence mean that all kinds of jobs are increasingly at risk.
Susskind will argue that machines no longer need to reason like us in order to outperform us. Increasingly, tasks that used to be beyond the capability of computers - from diagnosing illnesses to drafting legal contracts - are now within their reach. The threat of technological unemployment is real.
So how can we all thrive in a world with less work? Susskind will remind us that technological progress could bring about unprecedented prosperity, solving one of mankind's oldest problems: making sure that everyone has enough to live on. The challenge will be to distribute this prosperity fairly, constrain the burgeoning power of Big Tech, and provide meaning in a world where work is no longer the centre of our lives.
Fellow in Economics, Balliol College
Daniel Susskind is a Fellow in Economics at Balliol College, Oxford, and the coauthor of The Future of Professions, named as one of the best books of the year by the Financial Times, New Scientist and the Times Literary Supplement.
Previously, he worked in the British Government - as a policy adviser in the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit, as a policy analyst in the Policy Unit in 10 Downing Street, and as a senior policy adviser in the Cabinet Office.
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