Book & Reviews
John Harris, The Guardian
"a provocative, original long view on current concerns, examining the fallout from past technological advances, from the pre-industrial era, through successive industrial revolutions, to mass production and artificial intelligence."
Andrew Hill, Financial Times
Diane Coyle, The Enlightened Economist
"[As] Frey points out in his new book The Technology Trap, for all that the robots may make the world more local, they may have other painful side-effects, putting millions of people out of work and sparking an almighty backlash."
Ed Conway, The Times
Harry de Quetteville, Daily Telegraph
"In his bracing new book The Technology Trap, Carl Frey extrapolates from the history of the industrial revolution to offer a vision of the future in which Amazon Go, AI assistants and autonomous vehicles are 'worker replacement' technologies."
Greg Williams, Wired
Chris Dillow, Stumbling and Mumbling
Adi Gaskell, Forbers
"Frey’s analysis is worth taking seriously because the Oxford economic historian and economist has researched his subject deeply and has co-authored one of the most widely cited studies on automation. …. Frey’s story is well argued and — at times — deeply alarming about the stability of western democracies given he predicts the further concentration of wealth in a few hands and in even fewer locations"
John Thornhill, Financial Times
Patrick Bernau, Frankfurter Allgemeine
"The Technology Trap is a subtle, wide-reaching exploration of the relationship between technology and labor over centuries of history. Frey shows how the impacts of automation upon the British and American workforce have been shaped by changing power structures. In its attention to the detailed determinants of change, his book is a hugely welcome antidote to today’s surfeit of sweeping predictions about the future of work."
Baron Robert Skidelsky, Warwick University, author of Keynes: The Return of the Master
"Will machines equipped with artificial intelligence render the human race redundant? Is work as we know it about to be terminated? When we try to think about plausible futures, history is a better guide than science fiction. In this important new work of applied history, Oxford economic historian Carl Benedikt Frey draws on the experience of the first and second industrial revolutions, as well as the first computer revolution, to offer answers to some of the burning questions of our time. His key point -- that technological disruption of the labor market is usually painful in the short run, whatever the long-run benefits of innovation -- is of vital importance to voters and policy-makers alike."
Niall Ferguson, Hoover Institution, Stanford, author of The Ascent of Money
“How will artificial intelligence affect the future of work? In The Technology Trap, Frey answers this question through a comprehensive, insightful analysis of the relationship between technological advances and work, from preindustrial society through the Computer Revolution. He predicts that intelligent machines will reduce the demand for human labor while yielding significant productivity gains. Societies will differ in how they choose to distribute these gains."
Laura Tyson, University of California, Berkeley, Chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers in the Clinton Administration
"In this book, Carl Frey brings a new perspective, that of historical experience, to tackle some of the most important issues of our time. Offering the clearest account that I have read in quite a while regarding current problems around employment, technology, economic performance, and globalization, Frey provides the technological background to Thomas Piketty’s analysis of inequality, Capital in the Twenty-First Century."
Jane Humphries, All Souls College, University of Oxford, author of Childhood and Child Labour in the British Industrial Revolution
"Carl Frey’s highly original, admirably engaging, and deeply researched book should be read by anyone interested in how technological change will disrupt not only our jobs, but also our politics and society. By comparing the current age of disruptive technological change with the Industrial Revolution, The Technology Trap provides unique and timely insights which we ignore at our peril."
Ian Goldin, Oxford Martin School & Balliol College, Oxford University, author of The Age of Discovery
Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed
"Carl Frey and Michael Osborne ignited everything from robot hysteria to outraged denunciation, the latest in a cycle of visceral emotion that has accompanied every wave of new technology since before the Industrial Revolution. Frey's new book: "The Technology Trap: Capital, Labor, and Power in the Age of Automation" pivots off of the now-famous 2013 paper to answer whether the hysteria he and Osborne kindled is justified. …. If you're an optimist about the robotic future, you likely hear talk that we're all going to lose our jobs or suffer a big pay cut, and tell friends to relax — the new technology revolution is going to turn out like all the others since the dawn of the Industrial Age. But if history is your best hope, you should probably think again: The pessimists have a strong case."
Steve LeVine, Axios Future
"One of Frey’s most salient points is that our attitudes and actions toward technology can play a pivotal role in how it impacts us. A lot of stock has been put into Frey and Osborne’s prediction of 47 percent automation. But if Frey’s book gets even half the attention the paper got, it should serve to quell some of our fears around a bleak machine-dominated future."
Vanessa Bates Ramirez, Singularity Hub
"Carl Benedikt Frey has written an important and timely book... A great deal of effort, thought, and scholarship went into its writing, and it shows. There is much food for thought here and I can envision this assigned in upper division economics classes as well as some graduate courses."
Alexander Field, EH.net
Stephan Scheuer, Handelsblatt
Oscar Schwartz, Stanford Social Innovation Review
Joel Mokyr, The Journal of Economic History
John Judis, The National Interest