What happens to the U.S. economy when the entire trucking industry converts to self-driving vehicles? What does it mean for the medical profession if IBM’s Watson is available 24/7 to diagnose your illness? When an entire college or graduate school curriculum in any subject — taught by the best professors in the world — is available on line for free?
In his new book, Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation, Tyler Cowen has some thought provoking things to say about the nature of work and jobs in an age of ubiquitous intelligent systems and robots. Tyler predicts a world of mechanized intelligence or augmented thinking where all of human knowledge is available for searching at any moment and everything is measured and evaluated. In this future bi-modal global economy, the middle class as we know it disappears. Some successful humans leverage their ability to automate many physical and mental tasks and reap tremendous rewards, but many others fall behind — and no one is average.