Frederick Douglass on the Problem With Too Many Robot/AI Policy Discussions

In the last few weeks, there have been a slew of pieces on robots, AI, and the future of work. What they all have in common: when talking about problems they talk about inequality, but when they talk about solutions they seem incapable of talking seriously about power. I’m too wiped out from a death in my extended family to do a deeper dive today; more on this next week. But for now, Fredrick Douglass‘ got it covered:

Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters….

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.

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