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The Second Machine Age

The Big Idea for Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Smart phones and other devices are putting out massive amounts of data - so much data, in fact, that "we only have one prefix left in the existing metric system before we run out of metric system to describe how much data there is in the world."

Andrew McAfee, the author, along with Erik Brynjolfsson, of The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity, points to three main reasons for the astonishing rate of technical progress we're seeing today. The first is Moore’s Law: digital devices tend to get about twice as good for the same dollar every 18 months. The massive amount of data we are creating is a second reason. The final reason we are living in a second machine age is that "every innovation becomes a building block for subsequent innovations," McAfee says in today's lesson. That is how we get from the internal combustion engine to cars that can drive themselves.



  1. 1 You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet: Three Forces Shaping the New Machine Age
    Big Think Editors Big Think TV
  2. 2 Can We Win the Race Against the Machines?
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  3. 3 Moore’s Law – Key to Understanding the Techonomy
    Parag and Ayesha Khanna Hybrid Reality
  4. 4 Tweaking Moore's Law: Computers of the Post-Silicon Era
    Michio Kaku Dr. Kaku's Universe

The Second Machine Age

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