Our Thousand-Year Struggle Over Technology and Prosperity
If you are not already an addict of Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson's previous books, Power and Progress is guaranteed to make you one. It offers their addictive hallmarks: sparkling writing and a big question that affects our lives . . . Read, enjoy, and then choose your lifestyle! -- Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL In this brilliant, sweeping review of technological change past and present, Acemoglu and Johnson mean to grab us by the shoulders and shake us awake before today's winner-take-all technologies impose more violence on global society and the democratic prospect. This vital book is a necessary antidote to the poisonous rhetoric of tech inevitability . . . Power and Progress is the blueprint we need for the challenges ahead -- Shoshana Zuboff, author of THE AGE OF SURVEILLANCE CAPITALISM One powerful thread runs through this breathtaking tour of the history and future of technology, from the Neolithic agricultural revolution to the ascent of artificial intelligence: Technology is not destiny, nothing is pre-ordained . . . In this age of relentless automation and seemingly unstoppable consolidation of power and wealth, Power and Progress is an essential reminder that we can, and must, take back control -- Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, 2019 Nobel laureates in Economics A sweeping history of more than a thousand years of technical change . . . An important book that is long overdue -- Sir Angus Deaton, 2015 Nobel laureate in economics A book you must read: compelling, beautifully written, and tightly argued, it addresses a crucially important problem with powerful solutions -- Rebecca Henderson, author of REIMAGINING CAPITALISM IN A WORLD ON FIRE Acemoglu and Johnson would like a word with the mighty tech lords before they turn over the entire world economy to artificial intelligence. The lesson of economic history is technological advances such as AI won't automatically lead to broad-based prosperity-they may end up benefiting only a wealthy elite . . . it's a bracing wake-up call for the rest of us -- Niall Ferguson, author of THE SQUARE AND THE TOWER This singular book elevated my understanding of the present confluence of society, economics, and technology. Here we have a synthesis of history and analysis coupled with specific ideas about how the future can be improved. It pulls no punches but also inspires optimism -- Jaron Lanier, author of TEN ARGUMENTS FOR DELETING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS RIGHT NOW The technology of artificial intelligence is moving fast and likely to accelerate. This powerful book shows we now need to make some careful choices to really share the benefits and reduce unintended, adverse consequences. Technology is too important to leave to the billionaires. Everyone everywhere should read Acemoglu and Johnson - and try to get a seat at the decision-making table -- Ro Khanna, Silicon Valley member of Congress A remarkable analysis of the current drama of technology evolution versus human dignity . . . Acemoglu and Johnson offer a fresh vision of how this drama unfolds by highlighting human capabilities and social skills. They are deeply informed, masters at synthesis, and passionate about shaping a better future where innovation supports equality -- Ben Schneiderman, author of HUMAN-CENTERED AI Will the AI revolution increase the average worker's productivity while recusing their drudgery, or will it simply create more exploitative and heavily surveilled workplaces run by robotic overlords? That is the right question, and luckily Acemoglu and Johnson have set out to answer it, giving it profound historical context, combing through the economic incentives, and lighting a better path forward -- Cathy O'Neil, author of WEAPONS OF MATH DESTRUCTION and THE SHAME MACHINE Renowned MIT economists Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson explain in their important and lucid book how the transformation of work could make life even worse for most people, or, possibly,
SIMON JOHNSON is the Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Sloan School at MIT, where he is also head of the Global Economics and Management group. Previously chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, he has worked on global economic crises and recoveries for thirty years. Johnson has published more than 300 high-impact pieces in leading publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Atlantic, and Financial Times. He is the co-author (with Jonathan Gruber) of Jump-Starting America, and (with James Kwak) of White House Burning and the national bestseller 13 Bankers. He works with entrepreneurs, elected officials, and civil society organizations around the world. DARON ACEMOGLU is Institute Professor of Economics at MIT, researching the historical origins of prosperity, poverty, and the effects of new technologies on economic growth, employment, and inequality. He is the recipient of several awards and honours, including the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded to economists under forty judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge (2005); the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award in economics, finance, and management for his lifetime contributions (2016), and the Kiel Institute's Global Economy Prize in economics (2019). He is the co-author (with James Robinson) of The Narrow Corridor and the New York Times bestseller Why Nations Fail.