Today, two sharp policy writers took a whack at each other over the robots/AI-will-destroy-jobs debate. Dylan Matthews confidently wrote that there’s no reason to think that when it comes automation, this time it’ll be different. Kevin Drum wrote with equal confidence, “mass unemployment will start about 2025.”
Here’s the dirty little secret: no one has a freaking clue.
That’s why one of the core principles of Makers All is that our strategy should pay off regardless of whether we get hit by a mass unemployment crisis by 2040. That way, there’s a lot less at stake about whose prediction is right.
This principle is one reason why Makers All focuses so heavily on Make Creativity Work. Regardless of where people come down on the threat robots/AI pose to good paying jobs, everyone agrees that robots and AI are going to become ubiquitous in our economy. So either way, there’s not much downside to making sure that in every community as many people as possible can participate in creating robots and AI.
Obviously, this approach won’t work for every solution. But as a general rule, I think it makes a lot more sense to spend less time arguing about whether we will end up with a massive unemployment crisis and spend more time coming up with solutions that can help build a more prosperous, more just economy either way.