The Technology Trap is a sweeping account of the history of technological progress and how it has radically shifted the distribution of economic and political power among society's members. As Carl Benedikt Frey shows, the Industrial Revolution created unprecedented wealth and prosperity over the long run, but the immediate consequences of mechanisation were devastating. Middle-income jobs withered, wages stagnated, the labor share of income fell, profits surged, and economic inequality skyrocketed. These trends broadly mirror those in our current age of automation. But, just as the Industrial Revolution eventually brought about extraordinary benefits for society, artificial intelligence systems have the potential to do the same. The Technology Trap demonstrates that in the midst of another technological revolution, the lessons of the past can help us to more effectively face the present.
'Frey's story is well argued and â€” at times â€” deeply alarming.' â€” John Thornhill, Financial Times
'An excellent analysis of past industrial revolutions, the technologies that emerged within them, and the way societies adapted to those changes.' â€” Adi Gaskell, Forbes
'The Technology Trap may well ensnare doom-seekers' attention with its ominous-sounding title. But it should ultimately hearten anyone who reads it.' â€” The Economist
'A provocative, original long view on current concerns.' â€” Andrew Hill, Financial Times
'Bracing...Carl Frey extrapolates from the history of the industrial revolution to offer a vision of the future in which Amazon Go, AI assistants and autonomous vehicles are 'worker replacement' technologies.' â€” Greg Williams, Wired
'An important book...Frey is erudite and thoughtful.' â€” Joel Mokyr, Journal of Economic History