Once again I listened to Ryan Holiday's recommendation of his top book of the year, and I was not disappointed: Average is Over by Tyler Cowen was super interesting, especially to someone like me who has a passion for automation and smart machines. He liked the book so much he printed and framed one of the book's core ideas.
The book is a blend between career advice, macroeconomic forecasting, chess, science, and AI technology analysis, and lots of speculation around what the world could look like in the next 10 years. A lot of the ideas resonated with me, and I enjoyed learning a lot of details around chess-playing robots and how humans plus smart machines will represent the most effective teams in the future.
The scariest and saddest part of the book for me were the (good) arguments for how the world will likely become more "regularized and stupid" so that it's friendlier and easier to interact with for machines (think grocery self-checkout lines and highly systematized streets and procedures that can be navigated by machines/robots). There will definitely be a great deal of "charm" and human touch that will be lost in this transition, and I'm wondering if humans overall will be better off.
Overall, the book was very thought-provoking and made some good arguments and projections (of course, many of them are speculative, but even so, they were interesting to consider and weigh).