Are you ready? We are in the midst of a Second Machine Age! It is happening so fast all around us that maybe you don’t notice. We need to be ready since it is and will rapidly transform our economy.
I have posted this book excerpt below because I want you to see some of the really amazing things going on in our country….and what is already transforming our economy. This excerpt gives us a preview of what our lives will be, not way off in the future, but very soon…maybe now? The technology is here.
You might want to read the book (full name at the bottom of the excerpt) – it is fascinating! When I read of all the amazing things American’s are doing, I can’t help but wonder, why is Washington so counterproductive – more content to fight with each other than to figure out solutions and to help us prepare for the amazing things going on.
“During a research visit to Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters, we got to ride in one of the company’s autonomous vehicles, developed as part of its Chauffeur project. Initially we had visions of cruising in the back seat of a car that had no one in the front seat, but Google is understandably skittish about putting obviously autonomous autos on the road. Doing so might freak out pedestrians and other drivers, or attract the attention of the police. So we sat in the back while two members of the Chauffeur team rode up front.
When one of the Googlers hit the button that switched the car into fully automatic driving mode while we were headed down Highway 101, our curiosities—and self-preservation instincts—engaged. The 101 is not always a predictable or calm environment. It’s nice and straight, but it’s also crowded most of the time, and its traffic flows have little obvious rhyme or reason. At highway speeds the consequences of driving mistakes can be serious ones. Since we were now part of the ongoing Chauffeur experiment, these consequences were suddenly of more than just intellectual interest to us.
The car performed flawlessly. In fact, it actually provided a boring ride. It didn’t speed or slalom among the other cars; it drove exactly the way we’re all taught to in driver’s ed. A laptop in the car provided a real-time visual representation of what the Google car ‘saw’ as it proceeded along the highway—all the nearby objects of which its sensors were aware. The car recognized all the surrounding vehicles, not just the nearest ones, and it remained aware of them no matter where they moved. It was a car without blind spots. But the software doing the driving was aware that cars and trucks driven by humans do have blind spots. The laptop screen displayed the software’s best guess about where all these blind spots were and worked to stay out of them.
We were staring at the screen, paying no attention to the actual road, when traffic ahead of us came to a complete stop. The autonomous car braked smoothly in response, coming to a stop a safe distance behind the car in front, and started moving again once the rest of the traffic did. All the while the Googlers in the front seat never stopped their conversation or showed any nervousness, or indeed much interest at all in current highway conditions. Their hundreds of hours in the car had convinced them that it could handle a little stop-and-go traffic. By the time we pulled back into the parking lot, we shared their confidence.”
Excerpt From: Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee. “The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies.” W. W. Norton & Company, 2013. iBooks.
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