Robots, artificial intelligence, and driverless cars are no longer things of the distant future. They are with us today and will become increasingly common in coming years, along with virtual reality and digital personal assistants.
As these tools advance deeper into everyday use, they raise the question—how will they transform society, the economy, and politics? If companies need fewer workers due to automation and robotics, what happens to those who once held those jobs and don't have the skills for new jobs? And since many social benefits are delivered through jobs, how are people outside the workforce for a lengthy period of time going to earn a living and get health care and social benefits?
Looking past today's headlines, political scientist and cultural observer Darrell M. West argues that society needs to rethink the concept of jobs, reconfigure the social contract, move toward a system of lifetime learning, and develop a new kind of politics that can deal with economic dislocations. With the U.S. governance system in shambles because of political polarization and hyper-partisanship, dealing creatively with the transition to a fully digital economy will vex political leaders and complicate the adoption of remedies that could ease the transition pain. It is imperative that we make major adjustments in how we think about work and the social contract in order to prevent society from spiraling out of control.
This book presents a number of proposals to help people deal with the transition from an industrial to a digital economy. We must broaden the concept of employment to include volunteering and parenting and pay greater attention to the opportunities for leisure time. New forms of identity will be possible when the "job" no longer defines people's sense of personal meaning, and they engage in a broader range of activities. Workers will need help throughout their lifetimes to acquire new skills and develop new job capabilities. Political reforms will be necessary to reduce polarization and restore civility so there can be open and healthy debate about where responsibility lies for economic well-being.
This book is an important contribution to a discussion about tomorrow—one that needs to take place today.
Darrell M. West is vice president of the Governance Studies program at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of Megachange: Economic Disruption, Political Upheaval, and Social Strife in the 21st Century and Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust.
This book deals with the recent advancements in design methodologies, algorithms and implementation techniques to incorporate intelligence in robots and automation systems. Several articles deal with navigation, localization and mapping of mobile robots, a problem that engineers and researchers are grappling with all the time. Fuzzy logic, neural networks and neuro-fuzzy based techniques for real world applications have been detailed in a few articles.
This edited volume is targeted to present the latest state-of-the-art computational intelligence techniques in Robotics and Automation. It is a compilation of the extended versions of the very best papers selected from the many that were presented at the 5th International Conference on Automation, Robotics and Applications (ICARA 2011) which was held in Wellington, New Zealand from 6-8 December, 2011. Scientists and engineers who work with robots and automation systems will find this book very useful and stimulating.
The United States is caught in a partisan hyperconflict that divides politicians, communities—and even families. Politicians from the president to state and local office-holders play to strongly-held beliefs and sometimes even pour fuel on the resulting inferno. This polarization has become so intense that many people no longer trust anyone from a differing perspective.
Drawing on his personal story of growing up as a fundamentalist Christian on a dairy farm in rural Ohio, then as an academic in the heart of the liberal East Coast establishment, Darrell West analyzes the economic, cultural, and political aspects of polarization. He takes advantage of his experiences inside both conservative and liberal camps to explain the views of each side and offer insights into why each is angry with the other.
West argues that societal tensions have metastasized into a dangerous tribalism that seriously threatens U.S. democracy. Unless people can bridge these divisions and forge a new path forward, it will be impossible to work together, maintain a functioning democracy, and solve the country's pressing policy problems.
"A fabulous book: well written, well paced, fun, and informative. I also love the sense of humor. It's very good at disarming the fear. And it's gorgeous. I'll be recommending this book highly."
--Tom Igoe, author of Physical Computing and Making Things Talk
Want to learn the fundamentals of electronics in a fun, hands-on way? With Make: Electronics, you'll start working on real projects as soon as you crack open the book. Explore all of the key components and essential principles through a series of fascinating experiments. You'll build the circuits first, then learn the theory behind them!
Build working devices, from simple to complex You'll start with the basics and then move on to more complicated projects. Go from switching circuits to integrated circuits, and from simple alarms to programmable microcontrollers. Step-by-step instructions and more than 500 full-color photographs and illustrations will help you use -- and understand -- electronics concepts and techniques.Discover by breaking things: experiment with components and learn from failure Set up a tricked-out project space: make a work area at home, equipped with the tools and parts you'll need Learn about key electronic components and their functions within a circuit Create an intrusion alarm, holiday lights, wearable electronic jewelry, audio processors, a reflex tester, and a combination lock Build an autonomous robot cart that can sense its environment and avoid obstacles Get clear, easy-to-understand explanations of what you're doing and why