The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) believes that this time is different; the technological innovations of the 21st century will be dramatically reducing the demand for human labor of all kinds. We need to prepare now for the wrenching political and economic reforms that will be necessary to ensure that technological unemployment is a boon for all, and not just an economic elite.
For two hundred years there have been predictions that technological innovation would lead to widespread unemployment. Instead, jobs in factories opened as farm work declined, and then jobs in offices and services grew as factory work declined.
Today we are seeing the rapid transformation of work by robotics, artificial intelligence, the Internet, 3D manufacturing, synthetic biology and nanotechnology. Most economists and policy makers believe that these new technologies will again create as many new jobs as they make obsolete. At most, they believe there will be a need for educational innovation and work re-training to make the transition less painful.
But some have begun to argue that these innovations may finally create the long predicted decline of work. They point to the dwindling set of skills that humans can still do more cheaply and efficiently than machines, and are urging policy makers to take seriously the possibility of widespread technological unemployment in the coming decades.
This project aims to move the discussion about technological unemployment forward by engaging experts and policy makers involved in the study of technological unemployment, and by outlining the risks and benefits of the various policy responses that can be offered if technological unemployment begins to accelerate.
Specifically, through the Technological Unemployment program, the IEET addresses these questions:
Is there already net technologically-driven job loss, underemployment and precarity?
Is technology causing inequality (“skill-biased technological change”)?
Are there occupations that are immune to technological change? Can these occupations expand to absorb displaced workers?
What is the job creation potential of new technologies?
What will be the macroeconomic effects of technological unemployment?
How will technological unemployment interact with rising old age dependency and extending longevity?
Technoprogressive List Discussion of technoprogressive public policy, especially technological unemployment and the basic income guarantee.
Depuis le début de l’ère industrielle, l’idée du remplacement de l’homme par la machine dans le milieu du travail a fait du chemin, au point de paraître crédible aujourd’hui. En effet, les percées en intelligence artificielle lèvent une inquiétude : et si l’humain devenait obsolète.
Stuck Between Fantasy And Reality
From the very beginning of industrial era, the idea of replacing humans with machines caught on and has persisted, to the point of appearing credible today. Indeed, breakthroughs in artificial intelligence are raising concerns about the significance of humankind in the future. That still far event horizon forecasts a society lead by strong artificial intelligences which may bring us to our obsolescence. Homo sapiens will be at best forced to the margins of active duty like the utopian post-work post-scarcity society in Iain M. Banks’s science-fiction The Culture Series,; and at worse, wiped out. Because, as Eliezer Yudkowsky said: “The AI does not hate you, nor does it love you, but you are made out of atoms which it can use for something else.”
Inspiring and catalyzing creativity worldwide, Mark Hatch has been instrumental in jumpstarting the Maker Movement. He has now joined Network Society Ventures as a General Partner, leveraging his knowledge, skills, and passion to invest together with us in a new generation of startups.