Make, Think, Imagine Engineering th

Review :

I have an avid interest in technology and I found this book extremely worthwhile and informative. Of particular value are the interviews which Browne has conducted with people whom are leading experts and extremely prominent people; access to whom could probably only be secured by someone of Browne's stature. That he not only understands business, but has a degree in physics, and has worked and undertaken engineering research in the field really makes this a unique book whereby he is able to clearly explain technologies, as well more practical implications or potential issues that still need to be tackled, or that might arise further in the future. In particular I appreciated the general skepticism that exists around current timelines for the deployment of automated vehicles, as well as the doubts that exist towards the realization of General AI, rather than use of AI in narrowly defined areas.

Some issues I had with the book is how Browne often wants to mention about his material assets or allude to his wealth. This is only really a minor quibble for me as it is not overbearing. This is the world he inhabits.

More importantly, the book ends rather abruptly for my liking. I read the hard copy and thought there were still many pages remaining. These pages merely comprise acknowledgements and references. In my field of work we expect the analysis to lead to a discussion of the possible implications and steps that could be taken based on the analysis. This is perhaps a little too academic or "hard" for this type of book, but I think Browne has a good mind, has engaged with leading figures, and could have explored these things in greater depth. For instance, the need for public engagement, how to nurture sufficient numbers of engineers, how to bridge disciplines to tackle wicked engineering and societal problems (aging, climate change, populism etc). The book ends on a hopeful note, but this is not enough. Perhaps Browne made this decision deliberately and limited his scope. For me, it makes the book seem a bit incomplete.

Such points aside, this is a great book that, if you are looking to learn what is happening across various fields of technology, and understand the basic issues and challenges that exist, then this book fills that need.


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