Now, it may sound funny but I think it is already happening with reality shows and realty stars. Basically in a reality show big corporates pay ordinary people to be them selves in a show that is mostly a platform for advertising. The participants of the show get money either direct as prices or indirect from commercials or media related jobs. I have just finished reading your book, which I found very articulate and on the whole quite compelling.
I actually am a lawyer and an undergraduate Honors major in economics. One of my economics papers was on automation — and I reached the same conceptual conclusions about the problem that you did. I offer the following comments:.
When the pace of change extended over decades, excess workers were eliminated largely by attrition. The pace of change you anticipate will require the farmers and factory workers and knowledge workers to take up radically different occupations — not once, but perhaps several times in their lifetimes. Recent experience with auto workers, among others, must discourage us from believing that this kind of constant reinvention can happen for most workers.
I think your argument would be more persuasive with more emphasis on the dramatic projected rate of change and our poor results when trying to retrain laid-off workers. Indeed the current stagnation can well be explained as consumers who are increasing savings out of fear of the future and investors who are putting cash in the drawer because they see no sign of growth in consumer demand. The crucial point is that no one is to be left out on any grounds.
My real point is to urge you not to get too tangled in arguments over your specific solutions — just insist that opponents generate alternatives that will actually solve the problem just as well — with real economic models, not loose assertions of the kind Hanson offers. I kept looking for the meaning or significance of the tunnel and never found it. But your book seems to be generating a lot of discussion, so perhaps the objective is being accomplished. I will likely be able to provide great resources to fund this transition to make sure that everybody gets an ample share of the pie.
First, I address a new political paradigm; please read through it carefully—it is much better thought-out than it may sound at first. Second, I address a technology, patents pending, that will help us to tap the energy of the Quantum Vacuum to power all of our devices and to thrust us, rapidly and inexpensively, throughout the Solar System. Using now-cheap energy to desalinate sea water, we will easily get more food out of less land than we are currently cultivating. Please contact me if you would, have any comments, or would like to help or know someone who might!
I just speed readed the book. I like the basic premise. Personally I migth guess that the world is much more chaotic than a single tunnel. The linear trend prediction should probly take into account the unknown unknowns presented by exponential tech change. As rapid change destroys new products, before they mature, I would imagine that companies will need to further increase the rate of innovation.
Which means that they need to increase the productivity of workers — inventing and gettting new products to market quicker. You described entrepreneurship as a difficult process only understood by a few. But of course AI systems can make this process easier, safer, more efficiant.
Also the same tools that replace workers also empower workers. A single worker could leverage the economic power of many.
So perhaps its a race for employers to leverage this new ability. Ive often heard that billion dollar ideas are a dime a dozen, that execution counts. Perhaps execution will become easier. What does Martin Ford think of second life? I just saw a lecture by the founder on a youtube singularity u clip. He was explaining that the user base is much more creative than expected. Perhaps this is a utopian view of potential uses for displaced workers.
It seems like the problem is not a zero sum game but a valley created between two curves. The rate of technical unemployment versus the rate of new business model innovation to invent new industry capabilities. I think the global development and finance side of the equation is more complicated and worth more examination.
I think the neo liberal global finance capitalism is worth more exploration in relation to the worker replacement. The history of capitalism and euro caste systems is also important to explore. Desktop bioprinting. Desktop nano factories.
It would be nice to get an economic analysis of all these topics. Perhaps your next book could be a debate with various economists about various known future trends. An additional arrow for your quiver. If it manages to only make a worker 2x efficient, then you only need half as many workers—if technology manages to make a worker 10x or 50x or 1,x as productive, then the job loss is really just a question of scale. In his last paragraph Kessler asserts labor-savings machines will always create as many jobs as they eliminate because that is what has always happened in the past.
The biggest problem I see with it is your proposal that somehow the government should be relied on to re-distribute some of the wealth that will be generated by automation. As if it could. History has taught us that such bureaucratic, top-down organizations, whether IBM or the Civil Service, are inherently biased, inefficient, and no other word for it corrupt. Much more likely that we will see some form of social organization animated by online connections that enables people to care for others voluntarily, in the same way it already enables people to author an encyclopedia, code software, and even provide customer service for profit-making companies.
Social mechanisms have the unintended virtue, also, of undermining the patent-based intellectual property system — which is the system by which the machine owners absorb all that wealth. Am hoping to do an interview with you via Skype or phone tomorrow or Friday on the topic of automation taking jobs away.
Do you have some time between a. Please contact me at bcallanan kcpq. Having come independently to essentially the same scenario as Mr, Ford, I have primarily read the sections of his book that discuss solutions. An underlying premise of Mr. Why not just print the money?
A world without taxes is certainly no more bizarre than a world without jobs. The only obstacle to printing money is inflation, which, of course, is a de facto tax on currency financial assets, including cash. But inflation is only and always the result of too much money chasing too few goods. In a world where machines make everything except natural resources, can there be too few goods?
For example, desalinizing and transporting the oceans for irrigation and drinking is staggeringly expensive, they say. Will we reach the singularity before we perfect cold fusion or some other breakthrough? Will anyone have to starve anywhere in this brave new world?
In short, as we are hypothesizing a world without work, can we not also hypothesize unlimited production and then think about how much larger a money supply we will not only be able to tolerate, but in fact need. If so, I plan to buy a copy. Would you be willing to share some of your experiences self-publishing with Create Space? If so, do you have a more private space for such conversations? Of course the financial crisis we are all going through is worsening the employment situation, but it is the unemployment that started before the financial crisis which put the US economy as well as other economies on the dangerous slope of cheap credits and loans increase.
Banks with the support of various government authorities tried to fuel the demand via cheap credit and easy borrowing methods, later on these credits becoming more risky, Banks invented various financial instruments supposed to cover the excess risks, but speculation on those new financial products lead very rapidly to the financial disaster we know….
So at the origin, it was a severe reduction in labour income, due to great productivity gains in the past 60 years five folds increase since , while there had been a two fold increase between and Creating then a public debt on top of an already excessive private debt… This public debt was again worsened by the governments decisions to bail out banks with huge amounts of monney.
To make things worse if possible, Banks bailout by governments was given to banks without imposing on the banks to finance real economy activity. Which would have fueled an employment recovery which in turn would have fueled demand in a vertuous circle leading to more jobs and more income as well as more demand again. Instead the money was given without constraints, so banks came back to their old bad habits: short term purely financial speculation… plus huge bonuses to their managements who had in fact been responsible for the financial krach…. Another far worse possibility would be a third World war, as has been suggested by a few analysts considering various geopolitical moves in the largest economically strong countries….
Paul Trehin Former professional economist in High tech business forecasting and later on, full time involved in European Social Programs advocacy for various vulnerable populations such as people with disabilities, elderly people, homeless people, unemployed people, etc.