Never before have people had such a broad choice of occupations – and the opportunity to try on so many employment hats over the course of a career. Never before have so many technologies converged that are making jobs safer, smarter, speedier. And yet… while it should be a Golden Era for the workplace, there is extreme pessimism in many quarters about dystopian, jobless futures. Meanwhile, the job economy is dysfunctional, with millions of unfilled employment vacancies combined with a restless, fearful, even angry workforce.

The book looks at how automation – machine learning, robotics, unmanned autonomous vehicles, white collar bots, exoskeletons –is changing the nature of work in over 50 settings – in accounting firms, on the basketball court, in banks, on the battlefront, in digital agencies, in the oil patch, in R&D labs, on shop floors, in wineries, in the warehouse and many more. The conclusion “we are no longer white, blue or brown collar workers – we are all Silicon Collar workers since technology is reshaping all our workplaces”

Tackling this complex weave of forces, Mirchandani blends several distinct voices in this book – the innovation enthusiast, industrial historian, and policy analyst. Assembling a vast collection of voices, examples, and perspectives , he catalogs in detail the amazing human/machine matrix for jobs that are being transformed by technologies – spanning the gamut from handsomely compensated basketball players to much more modest garbage collectors.

He next turns historian and looks at automation over decades - in the grocery industry, in the automobile industry, in knowledge work, at the US Postal Service among other sectors. He finds “evolution, not revolution” and uses that to confront the pessimism about jobs coming out of academia and politicians.

With his analyst hat he looks at how employers, regulators, unions, and workers have all confused the labor economy. He concludes we should not be worried about machines. We should be far more worried about man made damage.

The end result is an optimistic read on the changing nature of work, a celebration of outstanding workers, and the machines which are making them even better.

Silicon Collar is both timely and deeply relevant. Intelligent Automation is impacting just about every industry with technologies like AI and Machine Learning promising to drive significant savings,faster-time-to-market, enhanced business insights, better regulatory compliance, and transformation of core business processes. With the help of real life examples from every industry,Vinnie weaves a rich tapestry of stories, which show how the digital and physical worlds are seamlessly blending to help us make better decisions and make businesses more agile.

Francisco D’Souza
CEO, Cognizant