The Reverse Luddite Fallacy

Economists can be surprisingly dangerous Most economists are convinced that automation will not lead to lasting unemployment. They point out – rightly – that it has not happened in the past. Instead, it has made products and services cheaper, which raises demand and creates new jobs. They say that the Luddites, who went round smashing weaving machines in the early nineteenth century, simply mis-understood what was happening, and this mis-understanding has become known as the Luddite Fallacy. But in the coming decades, automation may have a very different effect. Past rounds of automation replaced human and animal muscle power. That was...

Bumps on the road to the Economic Singularity (Part 3 of 3)

Peviously on this blogpost… In Part 1 we reviewed the concept of the Economic Singularity, and asked whether automation by machine intelligence will be different from previous rounds of automation.  We identified three potential dangers – one for each of the coming three decades.   In Part 2 we looked at the dangers in the 2020s and the 2030s.  For this rousing finale we look at something that could go wrong in the 2040s.  Read on... 3. The 2040s The danger: the scenario of the Gods and the Useless It is the early 2040s. For some years, most people have been unemployed,...
Calum Chace All articles

Bumps on the road to the Economic Singularity (Part 2 of 3)

Peviously on this blogpost... We reviewed the concept of the Economic Singularity, and asked whether automation by machine intelligence will be different from previous rounds of automation.  We identified three potential dangers - one for each of the coming three decades.   Read on... 1. The 2020s The danger: Panic It is the mid-2020s, and self-driving vehicles (now called “autos”) are widespread. They are well on the way to being universal in commercial vehicles, including trucks, delivery vans, taxis, buses and coaches. As a result most of the five million Americans who used to drive for a living (and the three-plus million whose...