Creating Our Digital World

Watched this informative video “Creating Our Digital World with Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee” on YouTube and produced by The Commonwealth Club of California.

The discussion over a bit over an hour long, but there were a few key points that I took away from the initial viewing.

  1. The world is undergoing three major digital trends: from “Mind” to “Machine,” from “Product” to “Platform,” and from “Core” to “Crowd.”
  2. What will technology do to us? It is important not lose sight of the fact that technologies have made us a more prosperous world overall. However, a challenge we should be cognizant of is that the wealth generated by technologies might not be fairly or equitably distributed.
  3. Human minds are biased and glitchy. Instead of worrying about the machines taking over the minds, leverage machines to support the human to make better decisions.
  4. Companies with large market share are not necessarily wrong or evil. Concentrated power deserves vigilance. We should act if the concentration of the power leads to consumer harm and stifling of innovation.
  5. The American middle-class has been left to its own device. Shared prosperity can still come from major policy choices we will be making on education reform, infrastructure investment, flexible immigration, and basic research.
  6. Work is meaning for many people. We should do everything we can to identify the new kind of work and retrain people to get into those work. The society should provide avenues that encourage people to change and to thrive in the new environment, rather than just living in the past.

News media and pundits love to discuss the pending doom that technologies and AI are about to bring onto the society. Instead of worrying about or resisting the coming changes that will happen regardless, how about we channel the AI energy to create positive societal changes for everyone?




我不認為與電腦對抗會有很好的成效。 畢竟,這些電腦程式都還是由人類編程的,那些人利用這些技術來超越其他人和取得更加的優勢。

我認為一個可行的做法是迎頭面對這個挑戰。 通過精通這些AI的技術,您可以創建人工智慧去為你自己服務,以及增強你工作上的業績。

只有掌握住所需的知識和工具; 你才能成為你自己事業與人生旅程的主宰者。

Solving Interesting Problems

Some points I learned from watching “EAC Panel on AI and Jobs” on YouTube.

  • The trend of hollowing of the “middle paying” jobs is real. One prominent example is the manufacturing sector where output has been increasing while employment has been decreasing.
  • American middle class has been built largely on repetitive work, either physically or cognitively.
  • The primary contributing factor for the divergence of the manufacturing output and employment trends is computerization/automation.
  • Labor force flexibility + economic growth + “downward mobility” generally has mitigated mass unemployment to some degree
  • Computers, robots, artificial intelligence are powerful tools that will make us wealthier and more productive. The challenge right now is how to equitably distribute the wealth generated by the tools.
  • Higher productivity from the use of technology and automation can have a significant impact on human activities. Human beings are hard-wired to want to be productive. As we automate more, we need to figure out how human beings can spend their time productively.
  • We have very little basic economic research on the nature-of-work or future-of-job topic. We need to do more in order to understand the ramifications better.
  • We have developed an interesting working relationship with automation. When the automation develops a bug, we carefully troubleshoot and spend the time to upgrade/improve the machine. When people develop “a bug,” we simply fire the people.
  • In addition to economic growth, we also need to think about maintaining the safety net for the people in society. Right now much of our safety nets (insurance and retirement benefits) are way too tied to whether we are having a classic industrial era job.
  • We have a poor revenue model for investing in infrastructure initiatives. Infrastructure improvements can promote economic growth, and economic growth solves a host of problems we are facing.


  • There are many complex phenomena going on that impact the labor picture, and it is simply not prudent to try to explain all these undercurrents with just one simple cause-and-effect relationship.
  • As a society, we have no shortage of work to be done for the benefit of all people. We are also wealthy enough to be able to tackle many of the work that needs to be done. We need to work with each other more than ever to solve many of these interesting, and impactful, problems together.
  • Don’t stop innovating!