The proliferation of smart tech raises three fundamental questions: What is the nature of work? What does it truly mean to be human? And—let’s face it—how can you make a buck off this? Those with the third question in mind will find a lot to like in the latest book by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, who became famous with a self-published e-book called Race Against the Machine in 2011 and even more famous after The Second Machine Age in 2014.
Machine Platform Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future (W.W. Norton & Co., $28.95) is the most practical of the authors’ excursions yet. It’s written for executives and entrepreneurs trying to make their way in this brave new world of driverless cars and hackathons. Understanding machines, platforms, and crowds “is the key to success in the economy today,” they state in what might be called their value proposition. “Our goal with this book is to help you with this important work.”