Foreword

When at the beginning of 2012 I had been contacted by Federico, asking for the opportunity to exchange ideas, I was glad to consent. From our initial exchange of emails, we quickly proceeded to an online voice and video conversation, and a few days later we agreed to meet in person. He came to visit for a day and stayed a night with me and my family.

Meeting Federico is like letting sunshine into your life. His enthusiasm, curiosity, and passion for his interests and sharing experiences with others make it impossible not to like him. We had a lot of common topics to discuss and it was great to be able to quote books and references to each other and realize that we were studying the same material. We would also mention global movements and organizations to each other and realize that we were both either following their progress or actively participating in them.

This is not only a brief description of the author of this book, and my experiences with him. I think that it is also a glimpse of what more and more people will be able to do, with their time, with their interests. Using technology, and online communications to find people with shared goals. Very rapidly establish shared trust, communicate using flexible tools, and act together to advance joint objectives effectively. An exponential path to human connections!

Robots Will Steal Your Job, But That’s OK is a smart, humorous, but thorough, and potentially important approach to a fundamental question of our time. Knowing that Federico is working on it, and that during the summer of 2012 he would have the chance to enrich his views with the experiences that he would have at Singularity University, filled me with excited anticipation. Because, as he describes it in informative and actionable detail, the issues of this book are going to impact billions of people. We are all going to live a future where we will have to redefine our roles, goals, and purpose in life.

Many people are working on various technology solutions to our most pressing problems. And even if we don’t have a guarantee, statistically speaking we can rely on one or another of those solutions to be found and then spread quickly. That is why concentrating on people is important: we biological humans can’t be easily debugged. Our biases and fallacies are much harder to correct than the 2.0 release of any given gadget. And the process of designing a fruitful future full of wonder must include the largest possible number of people aware of the opportunities we have in front of us. This is why I am so excited that this book is now available and that you have chosen to read it. If you like it, as I hope you will, please make sure to recommend it to your friends who will live, work, and love in the future with you.

– David Orban
CEO of dotSUB
Advisor and Member of the Faculty,
Singularity University
October 2012, New York

Understanding the complex relationship between automation and jobs requires empirical analysis and a nuanced inquiry. Federico Pistono’s book Robots Will Steal Your Job, But That’s OK is a unique and fearless contribution to the ongoing conversation on this topic. Pistono approaches the issues with a perspective that reflects his love of both people and technology. The approach is relentlessly constructive, optimistic, and controversial. Read it, then agree or disagree with various points, but join the dialog!

– Neil Jacobstein
Co-chair AI and Robotics, Singularity University
October 2012, San Francisco


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