The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies
Erik Brynjolfsson, PhD ’91
Schussel Family Professor of Management Science
Professor of Information Technology
Director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy
Professor Erik Brynjolfsson has spent his career exploring the intersection of technology and business. In this session, he talked about how massive technological advances are leading to what he and his co-researcher Andrew McAfee, Principal Research Scientist, call a “Second Machine Age.” Brynjolfsson argues that in a world where computers and robots have the ability to replace human beings in many industries, we must fundamentally rethink the way our society approaches work and education.
“Machines today can solve problems and diagnose illness—the ramifications for productivity, and wealth, and health are wonderful. But there is no economic law that everyone will automatically share in these gains: over the past 15 years, median income has stagnated as millions of people have been left behind, and there are prospects for even bigger economic disruption in the coming decade.”