The Labour of Automation

Sandeep Vaheesan interviews Frank Pasquale about his forthcoming book, New Laws of Robotics: Defending Human Expertise in the Age of AI.

My central argument is that AI and robotics most often complement, rather than replace, human labor, and that in many areas, we should maintain this status quo. Our technology policy should ensure that AI increases wages for most workers, rather than supplanting them.

Those goals are not terribly controversial—governments and political parties around the world claim to advance them. What politicians have ever said they want to cut jobs? But they do tend to favor capital over labor, and stock markets love layoffs. Rentiers can invest in politicians just as they do in stocks and bonds. And when they do so, a key concern is short-term profits, rather than longer-term investment in a more sustainable and inclusive economy.

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