Mr. Martin Ford is a futurist, speaker, and the author of the New York Times bestselling "Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future" (winner of the 2015 Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award) and "The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future," as well as the founder of a Silicon Valley-based software development firm. He has over 25 years experience in the fields of computer design and software development.
He has written for publications including The New York Times, Fortune, Forbes, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Harvard Business Review, Project Syndicate, The Huffington Post and The Fiscal Times. He has also appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including NPR and CNBC. Martin is a frequent keynote speaker on the subject of accelerating progress in robotics and artificial intelligence—and what these advances mean for the economy, job market and society of the future.
Ford was the first 21st century author to publish a book (The Lights in the Tunnel in 2009) making a strong argument that advances in robotics and artificial intelligence would eventually make a large fraction of the human workforce obsolete. In subsequent years, other books have made similar arguments, and Ford's thesis has been supported by a number of formal academic studies, most notably by researchers at Oxford University, who found in 2013 that the jobs held by roughly 47 percent of the U.S. workforce could be susceptible to automation within the next two decades.
In his second book, Rise of the Robots (2015), a New York Times Bestseller that has been translated into 19 languages, he argues that the growth of automation now threatens many highly educated people, like lawyers, radiologists, and software designers. He continues to write on these topics.
He speaks frequently to industry, academic and government audiences, and has presented his ideas at major events attended by global thought leaders, such as the Milken Institute's Global Conference, the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, held annually at the Sydney Opera House, the St. Gallen Symposium in Switzerland, and the Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul. Ford has also spoken to or consulted with various governments, and in July 2016, he participated in a conversation with the White House Chief of Staff about the potential impact of robotics and artificial intelligence on the U.S. economy and workforce that was live-streamed from the White House. In 2017, Martin will deliver the keynote at the Global Water Summit in Madrid.
Ford strongly supports both capitalism and continued technological progress, but believes it will be necessary to adapt our economic system to the new realities created by advances in artificial intelligence. Education: BSE in Computer Engineering, The University of Michigan; MBA, UCLA Anderson School of Management.