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Automation and Individuality

By: Alexander Goldstein

The rise of AI and mechanical automation could be a death kneel for the future of the working class. With a lowered reliance on human labor and input our future economies could be entirely different than the present landscape. If jobs start to dwindle and more and more tasks become automated, many different questions arise for the every man. We have to ask how people will earn an income if the economy does not provide enough jobs for a large slice of the population, and how they will provide the basic necessities for their families.

All this can seem frightening for people without higher level education or indispensable skills, but in a different way I see this as a new opportunity for governments around the world and society as a whole. It will take a wide spread effort, but if we can reconsider how we view labor and life as a whole I think the whole world can benefit from the increased economical optimization resulting from a more automated world. Right now AI and automation as a whole are still limited to singular tasks or goals, and are not exactly able to handle entire systems and frameworks on their own without some maintenance and supervision.

In general for people’s daily lives I think the ideal world allows the benefits of automation to be passed down to all people relieving them of worries we all currently view as a part of life. One wonders though what people will do if they do not have to worry about providing for themselves, if they have complete freedom of determination to do anything or nothing. This could lead to a culture of widespread sloth and laziness, with people simply choosing to live shallow lives of little meaning with their freedoms. I think this is a road we will be going down no matter what anyone does, the only question is it only benefits everyone or just some.

Sources:

https://hbr.org/2018/01/the-question-with-ai-isnt-whether-well-lose-our-jobs-its-how-much-well-get-paid

http://www.nber.org/papers/w24239

 

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