Learn More About Automation
Now that you have a very high-level view of what modern automation looks like and how it might threaten your job, it's time to go for a deep dive. Understanding the threat you're facing is the first step towards making sure you can survive and thrive in a rapidly changing world.
However, I don't want this particular book to get bogged down in such a deep, complex subject. Instead, I'm going to give you some learning materials and I expect you to go through them. You can't respond to automation appropriately if you don't have a baseline understanding of how it works, and these books and videos will help build that foundation.
It's also important that you don't just go through these resources and stop there. Staying on top of developments in tech is a key behavior in the fight to stay relevant in an increasingly automated world. It's easier to protect your livelihood if you can spot incoming trends that might threaten your position.
All of these recommendations are based on the assumption that you aren't already well-versed in the math and technology behind automation, so don't be intimidated if you aren't technical.
The Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos
This is by far the best explanation of machine learning for people who are not involved in actually building machine learning systems. If you want to understand what can and can't be automated, this is an excellent resource.
Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom
There's some controversy about the dangers of artificial intelligence, but this book is worth reading no matter how you feel about it. Even if you disagree with Bostrom's conclusions, this book will give you a clearer view of the AI landscape and make you think hard about the implications of machines that are more intelligent than humans.
The Inside AI newsletter by Rob May
Rob May is an entrepreneur (and current CEO of Talla) focuses on the world of AI, and his newsletter is an excellent way to stay on top of developments on the cutting edge of technology. I've been a subscriber for a long time, and I cannot recommend it enough for anyone who wants to stay up to date on the subject of AI.
The Future of Employment by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne
This is a fairly long research paper about the potential impact of automation on jobs in the future. Like this book, it bases its assumptions about automation on the idea that we're just going to maximize ML – which still leads to some startling conclusions.
The Rise of the Machines – Why Automation is Different this Time by Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell
Even if you don't want to read any books, at the very least watch this video. It covers why this wave of automation is not like the automation of the past, which is what I've been talking about throughout this chapter.
Humans Need Not Apply by CGP Grey
This is a 15-minute exploration of the economics and potential impact of automation. Another must-watch for anyone who's concerned about being automated.
No Job is Safe From Technology, with Andrew McAfee by Big Think
Although I don't necessarily agree with the idea that no job is safe, Andrew McAfee brings up some excellent points about what industries are going to get hit hardest by automation.
A Friendly Introduction to Machine Learning by Luis Serrano
A gentle thirty minute explanation of the most popular algorithms in machine learning. After watching this, it will be easier to spot which types of ML are being used out in the wild – even in products you use every day. This video is more technical than the others, but you won't regret watching it.