Book Bits | 8 August 2015

Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
By Jerry Kaplan
Summary via publisher (Yale University Press)
After billions of dollars and fifty years of effort, researchers are finally cracking the code on artificial intelligence. As society stands on the cusp of unprecedented change, Jerry Kaplan unpacks the latest advances in robotics, machine learning, and perception powering systems that rival or exceed human capabilities. Driverless cars, robotic helpers, and intelligent agents that promote our interests have the potential to usher in a new age of affluence and leisure — but as Kaplan warns, the transition may be protracted and brutal unless we address the two great scourges of the modern developed world: volatile labor markets and income inequality. He proposes innovative, free-market adjustments to our economic system and social policies to avoid an extended period of social turmoil. His timely and accessible analysis of the promise and perils of artificial intelligence is a must-read for business leaders and policy makers on both sides of the aisle.

Humans Are Underrated:
What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will
By Geoff Colvin
Q&A with author via Forbes
Dan Schawbel: What impact will automation and robotics have on the global workforce?
Geoff Colvin: The impact is already profound and is becoming more so. Technology continues to get rapidly better while its cost falls. Workers, by contrast, aren’t getting much better, but their cost tends to rise. So, at an increasing rate, employers are replacing workers with technology in new ways, some of them quite surprising.

Uninvested: How Wall Street Hijacks Your Money and How to Fight Back
By Bobby Monks, with Justin Jaffe and Bree Lacasse
Review via Readings
Bobby Monks is blowing the whistle on Wall Street, giving middle classAmericans the low down on how they rebeing fleeced of their retirementmoney and what they can do about it Every month our financial statements arrive, and everymonth we glance at them, trying to understand, hopingthat we ll come out ahead. But most of us have no ideawhat s really going on or the costs involved. Accordingto Bobby Monks who has been a banker and borrower, investor and entrepreneur financial firms and moneymanagers have complicated the investing process to keepus in the dark, profiting from our ignorance.

The Economics of Inequality
Review via The New York Times
Let me be blunt: I don’t know how the decision was made to release this “new” Piketty book in its current form, but it’s not at all the book one might have expected. It is, instead, a slightly revised version of a volume first published in 1997, when Mr. Piketty was in his mid-20s.

Wealth Secrets of the One Percent: A Modern Manual to Getting Marvelously, Obscenely Rich
By Sam Wilkin
Review via The New York Times
I don’t mean to be too hard on Wilkin. He is a pithy economist, which can’t be easy, and he seems to understand that none of this is to be taken too seriously. So is the book supposed to offer actual insights into how great fortunes are made? Wilkin certainly spends a lot of time explaining just that. Or is it intended as a sly commentary on capitalist excess? In his notes, Wilkin says “Wealth Secrets” was inspired by Schopenhauer’s “The Art of Always Being Right,” a sarcastic “manual” to winning arguments. “Whether you read the book as a guide to earning great riches or a social critique is your choice,” he writes. Ah. Both. I think.

A Technical Approach To Trend Analysis: Practical Trade Timing for Enhanced Profits
By Michael C. Thomsett
Summary via publisher (FT Press)
Experienced professional traders realize that the market is neither efficient nor random. Even the Dow Theory, the basis of traditional technical analysis, does not agree on identification of changes in primary trends. The meaning of trends is debated endlessly among technicians. Is a change in direction a new primary trend, a secondary trend, or merely a retracement? The debate is ceaseless and there appears to be more disagreement than agreement on the basic question of how trends behave. In this uncertain trading environment, how do professional traders manage effectively? This book offers methods for trend analysis based on a few sound principles. These include the essential observation of the trading range; reversal, continuation, and consolidation; confirmation methods; gaps; and non-price signals confirming or forecasting changes in the current trend.