Putting your money where your mouth is

Long Bet image

Robert Atkinson and I have made the 749th Long Bet shown above (and online here). Robert is president and founder of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington-based think tank.

Robert’s claim

With the rise of AI and robotics many now claim that these technologies will improve exponentially and in so doing destroy tens of millions of jobs, leading to mass unemployment and the need for Universal Basic Income. I argue that these technologies are no different than past technology waves and to the extent they boost productivity that will create offsetting spending and investment, leading to offsetting job creation, with no appreciable increase in joblessness.

My response

AI and robotics are different to past technology waves. Past rounds of automation have mostly been mechanisation; now we will see cognitive automation. Machines can already drive cars better than humans, and their story is just beginning: they will increasingly do many of the tasks we do in our jobs cheaper, better and faster than we can. Unlike us, they are improving at an exponential rate, so that in ten years they will be 128 times more powerful, in 20 years 8,000 times, and in 30 years (if the exponential growth holds that long) a million times. We are unlikely to see the full impact of technological unemployment by 2035, but it should be appreciable. Our job now, of course, is to make sure that an economy which is post-jobs for many or most people is a great economy, and that everyone thrives. The way to do that may well be the Star Trek economy.

I would like to be able to credit the person who created the excellent image below. If you know who it is (or if it is you!) please do let me know.

Horses and tech unemp

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Putting your money where your mouth is

  1. Am in London…Are you around this week?

    Regards,

    Darren Patterson Mobile: +61 (0) 427534959

    NOTICE: If received in error, please destroy and notify sender. Sender does not intend to waive confidentiality or privilege. Use of this email is prohibited when received in error.

    On 17 December 2017 at 12:34:00 pm, Pandora’s Brain ( comment-reply@wordpress.com) wrote:

    > Calum Chace posted: ” Robert Atkinson and I have made the 749th Long Bet > shown above (and online here). Robert is president and founder of the > Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington-based think > tank. Robert’s claim With the rise of AI and robotics m” >

    • I’m betting you’ll have to pay out on this one! Not that i in any way disagree with your outlook but that the issue is with who calculates and how the Unemployment Rate is calculated.

      The Fed only recognises those people in the labour force when calculating ‘unemployment’. An ‘unemployed person’ by their definition is one who has looked for at least one job actively in the last four weeks. There are many millions, and will soon be many more, who have given up hope of finding employment who are not included in the 8.0% figure.

      By 2035 when automation has taken over any number of human resources jobs and “improved” hiring/firing processes by several orders of magnitude the official unemployent rate will likely be very low, perhaps less than 1%.

      Care to wager 0.001 Bitcoin on it? 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s