Liberty Discussion on ‘The Revolution need not be Automated’ by Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo

On 31May, 2019, the members of Liberty Discussion Group sat down at Gaia Restaurant and Coffee Shop to discuss the article ‘The Revolution Need Not Be Automated’ by Daron Acemoglu.

The author argues that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to automate tasks previously performed by humans, taking jobs from people but at the same time it can also make human labour more productive increasing demand for human labour. He asserts that automation has been an engine of growth since the beginning of the Industrial revolution however, at the same time automation has reduced labour’s share of National Income contributing to inequality. Therefore, it becomes necessary to restructure Artificial Intelligence’s tasks and create new activities where labour can be reinstated, ultimately generating far-reaching economic and social benefits.

Some of the discussants supported author’s view on how AI should be used to enhance human productivity and create different kinds of jobs for humans. They believed that AI can be used in different fields including medicine and education, to produce better outcomes in these fields. However, others viewed that AI could take all jobs from humans, thereby leaving many people, especially the low-skilled one jobless increasing the gap between rich and poor.

The participants also curiously discussed what type of new jobs will be created in the future for humans to perform. They asserted that the author was not clear in this regard, whereas the other participants viewed that it is not easy to predict the kind of jobs that will be created in the future. They proclaimed that the new jobs that will be created will depend upon the use of AI. If AI can be used to assist humans on various tasks they are performing, it will increase human’s precisions on these tasks.

As, time was limited, members could not discuss more on these issues even though they desired to. But as always, members can always continue their discussion on the Facebook group.