Machine, Platform, Crowd

Harnessing Our Digital Future

Andrew McAfee (Author, MIT), Erik Brynjolfsson (Author, MIT)

Overview | Formats

From the authors of the best-selling The Second Machine Age, a leader’s guide to success in a rapidly changing economy.

We live in strange times. A machine plays the strategy game Go better than any human; upstarts like Apple and Google destroy industry stalwarts such as Nokia; ideas from the crowd are repeatedly more innovative than corporate research labs.

In The Second Machine Age, Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson predicted some of the far-reaching effects of digital technologies on our lives and businesses. Now they’ve written a guide to help readers make the most of our collective future. Machine, Platform, Crowd outlines the opportunities and challenges inherent in the science fiction-worthy technologies that have come to life in recent years, like self-driving cars and 3D printers, online platforms for renting outfits and scheduling workouts, or crowd-sourced medical research and financial instruments.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Forthcoming September 2018
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35606-9
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 416 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverMachine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future


Endorsements & Reviews

“For an astute romp through important digital trends, Machine | Platform | Crowd is hard to beat. ” — The Economist

“A clear and crisply written account of machine intelligence, big data and the sharing economy. But McAfee and Brynjolfsson also wisely acknowledge the limitations of their futurology and avoid over-simplification.” — John Thornhill, Financial Times

“On their own, AI, platforms, and crowds are all transformative forces. That they’re evolving in parallel means we’re beginning to experience a new era of networked disruption, where productive but disorienting change becomes the status quo. For citizens, entrepreneurs, companies, and governments that want to successfully navigate this new world, the first step lies in finding reliable and prescient guides. Andrew and Erik are two of the best.” — Reid Hoffman, partner at Greylock Partners, cofounder of LinkedIn, and coauthor of The Start-Up of You

“This is a book for managers whose companies sit well back from the edge and who would like a digestible introduction to technology trends that may not have reached their doorstep--yet.” — Randall Stross, Wall Street Journal

“The authors aptly illustrate how the extraordinary progress of technology is reshaping our lives, and they share powerful ideas relevant to world leaders. Nobody knows exactly how this future will unfold. What we do know is that the disruptive power of technology must be seized as an opportunity to design our future. The book compels us to ponder: will we apply technology to help accelerate development, improve living standards, and foster inclusive growth? Will we take advantage of its power to cut red tape, invest in education, unleash entrepreneurial energy, and create new kinds of jobs? The book is a must-read for policymakers who seek a road map for how to combine the strengths of humanity and technology to build a better future for their citizens.” — Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund

“Such is the speed of development in these emergent technologies that it is refreshing to take a step back and a look at some of the ways in which our lives and careers are changing – and will continue to change – at a fundamental level. Happily this volume by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson offers exactly this opportunity, using their deep knowledge of the business and technology sectors to build a detailed, cogent and conversational guide to where we are and where we are going. The story is warmly and richly told, using footnotes approaching a third of a page in length when things get really exciting, and amply supported by notes, references and links. This book is in many senses a primer, a thorough grounding for the digital warrior in the driving forces of the 21st-century economy.” — Times Higher Education

“Even Silicon Valley is surprised by the speed and scope of change today. The best way to stay on top of it is to understand the principles that will endure even as so much gets disrupted. This book is the best explanation of those principles out there.” — Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, executive chairman of Alphabet, Inc.

“The digital revolution we’re entering can be unsettling, but McAfee and Brynjolfsson show how these incredibly powerful technologies will make our choices more important than ever. Machine | Platform | Crowd is a road map for leaders to make wise choices as they navigate this new world.” — Arianna Huffington, former president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, author of Thrive and The Sleep Revolution

“The authors explain the whys and hows soberly, answering just about every question on AI you could ask: which channels it will colonise next, whether we'll still need physical products in a virtual world and how bitcoin will change commerce, among others. Throughout, they are eloquent and informed. They don't think humans will be obsolete, but they also don't pretend the solutions are simple.” — People Management

Also by Andrew McAfee All

  1. Book CoverThe Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies


Also by Erik Brynjolfsson All

  1. Book CoverThe Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies