The social impact of AI

People worry that there will be social disruption from AI putting people out of work, like coalminers in Wales or auto workers in Detroit. There potentially is, and I’m not trying to trivialize it.  But I don’t think it will be anything like as painful.


There is a human impact of all change. New products come along. Social tastes change. Resources run out. Countries compete. Technologies change.

It happens all the time. It’s not a reason not to change, it’s a reason to have strong social support. Those growing rich from the increase in productivity have a moral obligation to share some of that to help those affected (which seldom happens without a great deal of government coercion).

This time it’s not manual labour, it’s knowledge work. Those people tend to be able to reskill and reinvent better. They will exploit the automation, not lose to it.