Andrew McAfee studies the ways that information technology (IT) affects businesses, business as a whole, and the larger society. His research investigates how IT changes the way companies perform, organize themselves and compete. At a higher level, his work also investigates how computerization affects competition, society, the economy and the workforce.
Andrew McAfee’s robot economy keynote is a fascinating discussion about the future role of humans and robots in the economy and labor market. He predicts that there will be more jobs for machines, not people. From multi-language translation services to algorithms, modern digital technologies are already affecting people’s abilities to earn a living. Digital tools are displaying skills they never have before, and as a result, are starting to replace humans. Programs like Siri for the iPhone are not perfect, but they are good enough to be replacing humans.
McAfee points out though that robots cannot replace humans in the entrepreneurial sense, and that people need to be investing more time in these types of endeavors. He also argues that the transition from a human labor market to one sustained by robots will be the hardest one society will ever experience and managing that will require the complexities of a human brain.