The Industries of the Future Book Summary - The Industries of the Future Book explained in key points
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The Industries of the Future summary

Alec Ross

The next wave of innovation and globalization

3.7 (85 ratings)
15 mins

What is The Industries of the Future about?

The Industries of the Future (2016) gives a sneak peak at the effects information technology and the next wave of innovation will have on globalization. These blinks explain how people, governments and companies will need to adapt to a changing world driven by big data.

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    The Industries of the Future
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    Key idea 1 of 6

    Advances in robotics will increase efficiency, but also cost people their jobs.

    Can you remember your first job? For lots of people, their entry into the job market was at a cafe or a restaurant, waiting tables or serving coffee. But in the future, such jobs might not even be available.

    That’s because the introduction of cloud computing has enabled robots to do the work of humans. For instance, advances in cloud robotics – robots’ ability to upload experiences to the cloud and learn from the experiences of all other robots – mean that robots can now learn and grow faster than ever before.

    As a result, robots are going to be capable of completing new tasks. In fact, an Oxford University study found that 47 percent of all US jobs are at great risk of being done by robots in the next two decades. For instance, the car service Uber runs a research lab that is building an automated taxi-fleet and Google’s research lab, Google X has been working on a driverless car project for six years!

    But why would we want to replace human workers with robots?

    Well, robots can service more people at lower prices. That’s because, unlike humans, who are cheap to hire but costly to keep on staff, robots don’t get paid a salary or take vacations. In fact, they can work all the time.

    Just consider SEDASYS, a robotics system that oversees the sedation of surgery patients. Without SEDASYS, an anesthesiologist can only monitor one operation at a time, and his presence adds $2,000 to the cost of the operation. With SEDASYS, however, a single anesthesiologist can simultaneously oversee ten operations, and his efforts only add $150 per operation.

    However, the value produced by robots isn’t going to be equally distributed. Therefore, governments need to do something about the income people will lose.

    In fact, most of the savings made possible by robots will go straight to the big corporations that produce them. That means it’s up to governments to redistribute part of those savings into things like social-safety nets, education and skills training for the labor force displaced by robots.

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    Best quote from The Industries of the Future

    Robots will be doing things faster, safer – or less expensively than humans.

    —Alec Ross
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    About the Author

    Alec Ross is a leading expert on innovation, as well as an advisor to investors, corporations and governments. When Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, she created a new position for him called “Senior Advisor on Innovation” and tasked him with bringing new tools to diplomacy and foreign policy.

    Who should read The Industries of the Future?

    • Any business owner or entrepreneur who accepts payments by credit card
    • Those aspiring to own a business
    • Parents who want to prepare their child for a successful future

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