Written by Christopher Steiner
Read by Walter Dixon
Format: MP3

The business landscape improved in such great deal over the past decade, and we have the digital technology to thank for. Apart from that, almost every part of our lives have already been influenced by digital technology, providing convenience in all aspects as never been before. But it is always advantageous especially when how we humans think and do can now be simulated and executed by “bots”?

In Automate This audiobook, Chris Steiner explains how we live our lives, or the quality of it, can be taken over by the inevitable “bot revolution”. These “bots” feed on human information we send out there and turn them into information they could use to best serve our needs — from developing new products and services, to making certain processes more convenient in medical care, education, or even general lifestyle. On the other hand, its efficiency can actually even take over jobs that may have negative effect in our livelihood. The story predicts influencing even our political views by the news “bots” now produce, or our own security by its interpretation of our digital activity trail. Exciting and scary are two words that may best describe its pros and cons respectively. Can human instinct really be eliminated? Can human instincts really be duplicated in the presence of “bots”? How would you imagine your life to be in the “bot technology”? Will you be ready?

The rousing story of the last gasp of human agency and how today’s best and brightest minds are endeavoring to put an end to it. It used to be that to diagnose an illness, interpret legal documents, analyze foreign policy, or write a newspaper article you needed a human being with specific skills – and maybe an advanced degree or two. These days, high-level tasks are increasingly being handled by algorithms that can do precise work not only with speed but also with nuance. These “bots” started with human programming and logic, but now their reach extends beyond what their creators ever expected.

In this fascinating, frightening audiobook, Christopher Steiner tells the story of how algorithms took over – and shows why the “bot revolution” is about to spill into every aspect of our lives, often silently, without our knowledge. The May 2010 “Flash Crash” exposed Wall Street’s reliance on trading bots to the tune of a 998-point market drop and $1 trillion in vanished market value. But that was just the beginning. In Automate This, we meet bots that drive cars, pen haikus, and write music mistaken for Bach’s. They listen in on our customer service calls and figure out what Iran would do in the event of a nuclear standoff. There are algorithms that can pick out the most cohesive crew of astronauts for a space mission or identify the next Jeremy Lin. Some can even ingest statistics from baseball games and spit out pitch-perfect sports journalism indistinguishable from that produced by humans.

The interaction of man and machine can make our lives easier. But what will the world look like when algorithms control our hospitals, our roads, our culture, and our national security? What happens to businesses when we automate judgment and eliminate human instinct? And what role will be left for doctors, lawyers, writers, truck drivers, and many others? Who knows – maybe there’s a bot learning to do your job right this minute.

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