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The Technology Trap: Capital, Labor, and Power in the Age of Automation (Paperback)

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Made me look at the industrial revolution, invention, sleeping beauties, contexts and the forces that shape our societies differently.--David Byrne, New York Times Book Review

How the history of technological revolutions can help us better understand economic and political polarization in the age of automation

The Technology Trap is a sweeping account of the history of technological progress and how it has radically shifted the distribution of economic and political power among society's members. As Carl Benedikt Frey shows, the Industrial Revolution created unprecedented wealth and prosperity over the long run, but the immediate consequences of mechanization were devastating. Middle-income jobs withered, wages stagnated, the labor share of income fell, profits surged, and economic inequality skyrocketed. These trends broadly mirror those in our current age of automation. But, just as the Industrial Revolution eventually brought about extraordinary benefits for society, artificial intelligence systems have the potential to do the same. The Technology Trap demonstrates that in the midst of another technological revolution, the lessons of the past can help us to more effectively face the present.

About the Author


Carl Benedikt Frey is the Oxford Martin Citi Fellow and codirector of the Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford. Twitter @carlbfrey
Product Details
ISBN: 9780691210797
ISBN-10: 0691210799
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2020
Pages: 488
Language: English