Digital transformation was supposed to give us higher productivity, a better quality of life, and perhaps higher unemployment. Yet, productivity growth in most Western countries was slower in the 2010s than in any previous decade, and unemployment was at record lows before the pandemic.

Optimists will of course say differently. From The Second Machine Age to The Rise of the Robots, and World Without Work, all award-winning books, optimists cite academic papers from Google and others, supplier announcements, and consulting reports as evidence that an increase in productivity growth and unemployment will soon emerge.

Another way to measure progress in…

jeffrey lee funk

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