The Software Society

How digital technology is changing our culture and economy

Synopsis

The fundamental question that The Software Society addresses is, “What will our lives be like in five years?” How closely will we be connected to computer intelligence? Will our economy be growing with the human-computer connection a major driver? Or will it be struggling as deepening software capabilities eliminate jobs to the point of decimating the economy?

With an always-there availability through mobile devices, software is becoming more tightly connected to humans through advances in computer processing of speech and language. As our connection to technology tightens, it drives rapid cultural evolution, changing what it means to be human. The advances in language processing and mobile technology together create the next wave of technology innovation.

Technological change driven by software also impacts our economy in basic ways. Software advances can make the economy more efficient; however, when automation is carried too far, jobs disappear. Slow economic recovery results from a preference for “hiring computers” rather than hiring people. This book recommends a remedy for this problem, an “automation tax” that encourages achieving productivity through creating more effective jobs rather than replacing them.

The Software Society analyzes the fundamental trends of software’s impact on our culture and our economy. It explains the potential and limitations of using computer intelligence to enhance our human intelligence. The book probes the impact of this key technology evolution on the way we live and prosper.