The biggest danger of robots isn’t about them at all. It’s about us.
The drumbeat gets louder with every recession and every technological breakthrough. Labor force participation has been on a slow decline punctuated by plunges around recessions. Wages have stagnated for over a generation. The technology companies that are on the leading edge of change are creating fantastic wealth, but that wealth trickles down less and less.
Much of the blame can be laid at the feet of anti-competitive behavior by those tech giants, on a political economy that has disempowered labor, and on the rise of international competition that has pulled hundreds of millions out of poverty — but also squeezed the middle class of the developed world. But what about the core question of the technologies themselves. Automation has cost far more manufacturing jobs than international trade ever did. And now artificial intelligence threatens many of the higher-paying service jobs that were supposed to be the happy upside to the creative destruction of manufacturing work.
The argument is not absurd — as evidenced by the fact that some of the leading lights of the technology industry are increasingly sounding the alarm. Do we need to worry that artificial intelligence will put us all — or all but a narrow …read more
Source:: The Week – Business