The Second Machine Age: Ideas in Work


For the last panel of the day, Andrew McAfee discusses theses of his book "The Second Machine Age" with Herbert Henzler.

In tune with this year's DLD theme "It's only the beginning" McAfee states that technology advances exponentially. This will have tremendous effects on our social lives and economy. Automation will replace human labour. However, according to McAfee, there's no reason to panic. So far we can see that the living standards have just improved with technological advancements.

They go on to discuss the shift towards a "winner takes it all" dynamic that is often attributed to unfair monopolies. According to McAfee, this change is mostly driven and enabled by technological innovations.

Moreover they talk about the lack of successful, giant tech companies in Germany. Citing Mark Andreessen, McAfee suggests that you do need four ingredients for innovation: great research and universities, risk capital, rule of law and cultural tolerance to failure. The latter one is not very common in Germany.

Winding up the panel, McAffee cites the end of his book: Technology is not our destiny. We shape our destiny.

Mentioned in this live blog

Andrew mcafee bw
Andrew McAfee
Principal Research Scientist, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy

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