The robots are coming? The economic and educational implications of the ‘Second Machine Age’.


Education, Economy and Society

untitledMartin Allen   reviews  The  Second Machine Age. Work Progress, and Prosperity in a time of Brilliant Technologies

Erik Brynjolfsson and   Andrew McAfee’s   The Second Machine Age ( Norton  2014,  ISBN  978-0-393-23935-5 ),  is  an important contribution to the  debate about the effects of  technological change on the workplace and the changing shape of the occupational structure.

Advances in computer technology are seen as being responsible for the disappearance of what were considered to be ‘routine’ jobs with Goos and Manning’s 2003 paper http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/20002/1/Lousy_and_Lovely_Jobs_the_Rising_Polarization_of_Work_in_Britain.pdf  about the polarisation of the occupational structure providing  the  basis for what is now commonly referred to  as the ‘hour-glass’ economy, where  increased employment in cognitively-based professional work, but also  the expansion  of new labour intensive unskilled occupations in service sectors still  dependent  on personal contact, has resulted in a ‘hollowing out’ of the middle. But Brynjolfsson and McAfee now argue that even the more…

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