Martin Ford (US)

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Author, The Rise of the Robots

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Silicon Valley entrepreneur and software engineer, Martin has been looking at the implication of artificial intelligence for over a decade. He was one of the first to highlight the importance of the potential economic impact of automation and mass-redundancy and believes that the tech industry is not as short-sighted on this as some would suggest.


Martin Ford is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and the author of the best-selling Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. A computer engineer with over 25 years experience in software development and design, he has become one of the leading voices on artificial intelligence and automation in the world.

One of the first commentators to propose a serious discussion about the effects of AI on the workforce, Martin has been at the forefront of both commercial and social developments in technology. He is the consulting artificial intelligence expert for Lyxor Robotics and AI ETF, which focuses on investment in companies that will play a key role in the next technology revolution.

Martin’s first book The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future considered the realities of a world where mass automation rendered a large part of the working population redundant. He also proposed that AI would become the dominant goal of Silicon Valley, and was proved right as within a few years both startups and established tech giants like Google made the area their primary focus.

In Rise of the Robots, Martin has suggested that, contrary to some critics’ opinions, the technology industry is very much aware of the economic implications of its work. Those in business and government realise the consequences of private income being focused exclusively on a small elite within society, thus crippling the consumer economy. Martin does not paint a dystopian vision of a socially fractured society in the thrall to automation. He delivers a rational, insiders’ view of what might happen and how government and business can ensure a fair and productive future. Within that he debates practical policies such as linking a guaranteed income to education and skills.

A regular commentator in the media in the US, Martin has also written for Fortune magazine, Forbes, The Washington Post and the Financial Times.

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