For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Artificial Intelligence and Its Implications for Income Distribution and Unemployment"

by Korinek, Anton; Stiglitz, Joseph E (2019)


The introduction of artifi cial intelligence (AI) is the continuation of a long process of automation. Advances in mechanization in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries automated much of the physical labor performed by humans. Advances in information technology in the mid- to late twentieth century automated much of the standardized data processing that used to be performed by humans. However, each of these past episodes of automation left large areas of work that could only be performed by humans.

Key Passage

In 1930 Keynes wrote an essay on the “Economic Possibilities of our Grandchildren,” in which he described how technological possibilities may translate into utility possibilities. He worried about the quality of life that would emerge in a world with excess leisure. And he thought all individuals might face that quandary. But what has happened in recent years has raised another possibility: innovation could lead to a few very rich individuals— who may face this challenge—whereas the vast majority of ordinary workers may be left behind, with wages far below what they were at the peak of the industrial age. (p.353)


Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Technology, Income Distribution, Employment, Equality, Data Processing, Uemployment


Employment, Economics, Automation

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