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The Glass Cage Where Automation is Taking Us by Nicholas Carr
  

The Glass Cage Where Automation is Taking Us

Popular Science   The Real World   
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Sue Baker's view...

A look at a future, a path we are already treading with everything from the mundane “recommended for you” seen on online sales websites to the vital automatic cockpit controls controlled by algorithms which will soon see driverless cars on the road. As Nicholas Carr suggests in his book The Glass Cage soon we will surrender our very decision making to machines at great detriment to ourselves and our societies.

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Synopsis

The Glass Cage Where Automation is Taking Us by Nicholas Carr

In The Glass Cage, leading commentator on technology and culture Nicholas Carr shows how automation - in the form of decision-making algorithms - now permeates every aspect of our lives and the radical effects this is having on our ability to learn and make decisions. In May 2009 an Airbus A330 passenger jet equipped with the latest 'glass cockpit' controls plummeted 30,000 feet into the Atlantic. The reason for the crash: the autopilot had routinely switched itself off. In fact, automation is everywhere - from the thermostat in our homes and the GPS in our phones to the algorithms of High Frequency Trading and self-driving cars. We now use it to diagnose patients, educate children, evaluate criminal evidence and fight wars. But psychological studies show that we perform best when fully involved in a task, while the principle of automation - that humans are inefficient - is self-fulfilling. The glass cockpit is becoming a glass cage. In this utterly engrossing expose, bestselling writer Nicholas Carr reveals how automation is affecting our ability to solve problems, forge memories and acquire skills. Rather than rejecting technology, Carr argues that we must urgently rethink its role in our lives, using it to enhance rather than diminish the extraordinary abilities that make us human.


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Reviews

'Nicholas Carr is among the most lucid, thoughtful and necessary thinkers alive. The Glass Cage should be required reading for everyone with a phone' -- Jonathan Safran Foer

'Written with restrained objectivity, The Glass Cage is nevertheless as scary as any sci-fi thriller could be' -- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

'Nicholas Carr is the rare thinker who understands that technological progress is both essential and worrying. The Glass Cage is a call for technology that complements our human capabilities, rather than replacing them' -- Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody

'A very necessary book, that we ignore at our peril. I read it without putting it down' -- Iain McGilchrist, author of The Master and His Emissary

About the Author

Nicholas Carr is the author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, a 2011 Pulitzer Prize nominee and a New York Times bestseller, as well as two other influential books, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google (2008) and Does IT Matter? (2004). His books have been translated into more than 20 languages. (www.nicholascarr.com)

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999

Author

Nicholas Carr

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Author's Website

www.nicholascarr.com/

Publisher

Format

Hardback

Categories

Popular Science
The Real World


ISBN

9781847923080

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