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How did AI advance from the realm of science fiction to today’s reality? And how should we prepare for its future? MARTIN FORD—a McKinsey award-winning author, software entrepreneur, and TED mainstage speaker—explains why our current plans for the robotics revolution fall short. In his new book Rule of the Robots, a follow-up to his New York Times bestseller Rise of the Robots, Ford shows us how AI, much like electricity before it, will soon become an essential mainstay in our lives—remaking every sphere of human activity in the process. Fastidious and uncannily prescient, Ford orients investors, managers, and everyday people in our shifting technological landscape, helping us to both avoid potential threats and distinguish the hype from real opportunities.
“Probably the most compelling single-volume book so far on AI’s advance and the opportunities and challenges associated with its multi-faceted impact on the world.” James Manyika, Chairman and Director of the McKinsey Global Institute
Imagine it’s 2030. You call a bank to discuss your loan application, but you don’t get to talk to a person. The bank’s AI has spoken: you are denied. At home, feeling stressed, you take pills both invented and prescribed by AI to keep your blood pressure in check. You stream a video starring “actors” generated by machines. And before you turn in, you wonder if collaboration between Big Tech and China means you should choose a new AI provider for your home. These hypothetical scenes may seem hard to believe, but as Martin Ford describes in his new book Rule of the Robots, they’re entirely possible. Artificial intelligence is poised to transform every facet of our lives, forever. In ways we can hardly imagine. To prepare for this future, we’ll need to keep our humanity front and center, says Ford, who advocates for policies that will support our collective well-being as we adjust to these fast-approaching disruptions.
Ford’s previous book, Rise of the Robots, was a New York Times Bestseller, a McKinsey Award winner, and a Business Insider ‘Best Business Book of the Year.’ Clearly written, powerfully argued, and massively influential, Rise was reviewed by Barbara Ehrenreich in a cover feature for The New York Times Book Review, where she described it as, “both a humbling book and, in the best sense, a humble one,” and praised Ford for never succumbing “to the obvious temptation to overdramatize or exaggerate.” Lucid and compelling, Ford has established himself as a leading—and trustworthy—voice in the robotics revolution. His most recent book, Architects of Intelligence: The Truth About AI From the People Building It, features interviews with 23 of the world’s foremost AI researchers and machine learning entrepreneurs. Senior leaders at Google, Facebook, McKinsey, Stanford, and MIT join Ford to discuss the evolution of AI—and the major innovations on the horizon. Three of the book’s featured subjects won the Turing Award (considered the Nobel Prize of computing), making Architects one of the most high-profile, in-depth investigations of artificial intelligence to date.
Ford is the consulting expert for Societe Generale’s new “Rise of the Robots” equity index, which focuses on tracking 150 global stocks involved in AI and robotics (selected after thorough, data-driven research). Together, they have also developed the Lyxor Robotics and AI UCITS— an ETF that invests in AI and robotics companies based on the benchmark index of Rise of the Robots, and has continuously outperformed the competition since going live.
In addition to writing three books, Ford has contributed to notable publications including Fortune, Forbes, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and The Fiscal Times, and appeared on radio and television programs on NPR and CNBC. He has over 25 years of experience in computer design and software development, and holds a computer engineering degree from the University of Michigan, and a graduate business degree from UCLA.