Preparing for Technological Unemployment
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.

Mission Statement

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?

Technopogressive List Technoprogressive Technoprogressive List
Discussion of technoprogressive public policy, especially technological unemployment and the basic income guarantee.

Links Special Issue of JET: Hughes, Walker, Campa & Danaher on Tech Unemployment and BIG

TP Wiki on Technological Unemployment

The Automated Economy on Facebook

Technological Unemployment Group on Google+

Martin Ford's Blog: EconFuture

Andrew McAfee's Blog: The Business Impact of IT

Basic Income Community on Reddit

US Basic Income Guarantee Network

Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN)

Books on Technological Unemployment and Political Economy Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, Martin Ford (2015)

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee (2014)

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, Nick Bostrom (2014)

Jobocalypse: The End of Human Jobs and How Robots will Replace Them, Ben Way (2013)

Robots Will Steal Your Job, But That's OK: how to survive the economic collapse and be happy, Federico Pistono (2012)

Political Economy Articles
Jason C. Stone
Public Wealth Communism by Jason C. Stone

One of the major obstacles associated with socialist or communist systems is the Economic Calculation Problem. If we no longer allow a “free market” to decide what is produced and at what price, then how do we decide how to direct a society’s limited resources and labor?

Kevin LaGrandeur on Technological Unemploymen Vlog "Posthumans"

Dr. Francesca Ferrando (NYU) interviews scholar Dr. Kevin LaGrandeur (NYIT). Recorded at Digital Studio, New York University (NYU), New York City, April 2019.​

AI, Algorithms and the Post Human Future of Governance Ethics in Action Podcast

IEET’s J. Hughes speaks with Nir Eiskovitz, director of the Center for Applied Ethics at University of Massachusetts Boston, about the impacts of algorithms on governance. How will the rise of AI change state and federal bureaucracies? Are AI mediated politics more democratic? More fair? What does post human governance look like?

John G. Messerly
Survival of the Richest by John G. Messerly

Professor and media theorist Douglas Rushkoff recently penned an article that went viral, “Survival of the Richest.” It outlines how the super wealthy are preparing for doomsday. Here is a recap followed by a brief commentary.

Alexandre Maurer
Vers la fin du plein emploi ? Automatisation, intelligence artificielle… by Alexandre Maurer

Automatisation, intelligence artificielle : se dirige-t-on vers la fin du plein emploi ? Dans cette vidéo, je réponds à 4 objections fréquentes sur la question.

Rick Searle
Utopia of the Wastelands by Rick Searle

Part of the problem with utopia is the question of where do you put it. After all, what any imaginary ideal society ultimately ends up being is its “own world turned upside down”, which means that the world, as it is, must not have a place for anything like a paradise on earth, otherwise an author would have had no reason to dream up a utopia in the first place.

Alexandre Maurer
Temps de vie augmenté : de quoi parle-t-on ? by Alexandre Maurer

Allongement de la durée de vie, automatisation du travail : qu’entend-t-on précisément par là ?

Melanie Swan
The Future of AI: Blockchain and Deep Learning by Melanie Swan

First point: considering blockchain and deep learning together suggests the emergence of a new class of global network computing system. These systems are self-operating computation graphs that make probabilistic guesses about reality states of the world.

Hank Pellissier
What Transhumanists Lost by Investing Late in Bitcoin by Hank Pellissier

In 2012, a writer in Germany, Rüdiger Koch, wrote an intriguing essay for, that was subtitled “Amazing things would happen if a large percentage of transhumanists were financially independent. How can this be done?”

Keith B. Wiley
The Obligatory Mind Uploading Blockchain Crossover by Keith B. Wiley

In 2017, the world lost its collective bananas over Bitcoin and its supporting technology, blockchains, aka distributed hashed transaction ledgers (a mouthful that simply means a history of transactions that can’t be altered, thus enabling verification of any historical inquiries).  As blockchain mania swept the summer headlines, briefly eclipsed by an actual bonafide eclipse (one of the seminal spiritual moments of the author’s life), everyone started connecting blockchains to everything.  In addition to Bitcoin’...