CodeX Book Club: Chapter 21 — Robots & Grit

Welcome to Chapter 20 of the CodeX Book Club. Here are two quick reports on Rise of The Robots and Grit, from yours truly.  (By the way, I am always looking for people who are excited by a book that is of interest to the CodeX crowd.  If you are interested in writing about it, ping me (info below).

CodeX Book Club, Chapter 14: Elon Musk

Back to today’s duo. I have a feeling many of you will disagree with my view about Grit. A lot of people I know really like it. My friend David Cowen (of The Cowen Group) absolutely loves it, and it’s a rare time that I disagree with him.

I found the book to be a one-song wonder—it lost my attention by Part 2. I also found Angela Duckworth’s writing to be too way too preachy. Maybe I would have found it more compelling if I was at the beginning of my career, rather than later. Check it out and see what you think. (And write me with you take!)

Angela Duckworth: Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance book cover


★★ Grit: The Power of Passion and Perserverance.
By Angela Duckworth
Simon & Schuster
(Best seller)
List Price: $28. Hard cover. Also available in unadbridged Audio, eBook and paperback.




While Rise of the Robots has a narrow agenda (the impact of artificial intellegence to work opportunities) it is very engaging. I’m not deep into AI yet, and I appreciated that the author was careful to avoid jargon, allowing newbies to understand his arguments clearly. It was very thorough, and fascinating—and loaded with notes at the end for those who want an even deeper dive.

CodeX Book Club: Chapter 20 — Robots & Grit

Ford covered a lot of territory, including the impact of AI on “white collar” jobs;  on higher education; and on health care and other industries.

While there were certain chapters that could make many nervous, the book isn’t dismal. Fom my point view, while AI will change our how we work, I am certain that AI will deliver much, much opportunity—especially in the growth of bette, faster, cheaper legal services—and easier access to justice. (We simply must fix the current environment where 80 percent of Americans can neither find a lawyer or afford a lawyer.)

Ford has won impressive awards, including the the 2015 FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, a “Top Business Book of 2015” at Forbes and was among the’s “12 Notable Science and Technology Books of 2015.”

★★★ Rise of The Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future.
By Martin Ford. (Narrated by Jeff Cummings on audio.)
Hardcover: The Persus Books Group, Basic Books. May, 2015.
Paperback, July, 2016)
Unabrided audiobook (10 hours and 17 minutes)

See also:
• “‘Rise of the Robots’ and ‘Shadow Work,‘” Sunday Book Review, by Barbara ehrenreich, May 11, 2105.

• “Rise of the Machines: The Future Has Lots of Robots, Few Jobs for Humans,” Wired. By Margurite McNeal.

• “Attention White-Collar Workers: The Robots Are Coming For Your Jobs,” on Fresh Air, All Tech Considered, NPR.

Monica Bay is a CodeX Fellow and a freelance journalist and analyst. She is a member of the California bar. Email: Twitter: @MonicaBay.

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