Work and the future of it in the age of automation is the focus of Alyssa Battistoni’s article/book reviews in the Nation’s Fall Books issue.  She is the author of A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal, and she draws upon Automation and the Future of Work by Aaron Benanav and Work Won’t Love You Back by Sarah Jaffe.

Benanav reminds us that automation theorists hold that technological advances have increased productivity and reduced the need for workers altogether. Manufacturing has borne the brunt thus far, but artificial intelligence, they claim, threatens to replace many more jobs in the service sector, as well as in many professional fields.  One widely cited study estimates that 47 percent of jobs are at risk of being automated.  Many automation theorists are Silicon Valley tech boosters, who are thrilled by new advances in AI and information technology and concerned about…

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