No Fear and Some Loathing at Code
I have enjoyed watching online as well as reading the many reports from the 2017 Code Conference from Los Angeles. Wednesday’s interview with Marc Andreessen was particularly fascinating. Unlike many industry analyists, this mega-influential VC does not fear our AI-enhanced future:
“It’s a fallacy [that automation will cause massive job loss]. It’s a recurring panic. This happens every 25 or 50 years, people get all amped up about ‘machines are going to take all the jobs’ and it never happens.”
Citing what happened when automobilies began to replace horses a hundred years ago, Andreessen continued: “The jobs that were created by the automobile on the second, third, and fourth order effects were 100x, 1000x the number of jobs that blacksmiths had. I think the self-driving car has the opportunity to not only improve productivity for the people in the car, which will be a huge economic boost for those people.”
In addition to yesterday’s talk, hear more of Andreessen’s against-the-grain insights by listening to his podcast with Tim Ferriss from about a year ago.
Also speaking at Code on Wednesday was Hillary Clinton, who expressed her continued disgust with the current president, as well as the mainstream media which she believes empowered his ascent. Browse the transcript of her conversation via this link.
One of the two co-founders of the Code event is Kara Swisher, who was the 2017 SXSW Hall of Fame inductee. In March in Austin, she also interviewed the founders of the Crooked Media podcast — catch a 10-minute segment of this fascinating session on the SXSW YouTube Channel.
The other Code co-founder is Walt Mossberg, who recently penned his last column for Recode. His farewell essay provides an impressive overview of where the tech industry has been, where it currently stands and where it will likely go in the next few years. Find this column here.
Hugh Forrest tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often (but not always) cover technology-related trends. When not attempting to wordsmith or meditating, he serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW in Austin.