The AI Frenzy
Future of Work: Weekly research, commentary and analysis on how tech is changing our working lives
The Future of Work is a weekly issue from The Sunday Letters Journal that takes a look at current research, commentary and analysis on how our working lives are changing due to advances in technology. If you are a paying subscriber, you’ll get access to research papers, essays and articles that you may not otherwise through paywalled sources. Prepare for the future of work. Get each issue every Friday.
The AI Goldrush
A deepening of the division of Labour
Your job is (probably) safe from AI
What are the Dangers of AI?
Stanford One Hundred-Year Study on AI
Tell me what you think…will AI take your job? Post a comment and let me know your further thoughts on this. (Can’t access comments? Support Sunday Letters to open this feature)
It may be too late, at least where big gains are concerned. AI is taking off not necessarily because there is business, work, and broader life-changing technology behind it, but because of FOMO. So says Steve Sosnick, chief strategist at Interactive Brokers. “[AI] is the hot sexy topic right now”, Sosnick says. It’s a modern-day gold rush, and investors are rushing in hard. Nvidia’s stellar market performance in the last few months (and particularly yesterday) is a case in point.
What’s that saying again, the one about fools and rushing in or something like that? No doubt there will be money made, but a lot of money will also be lost. Such is the phenomenon of the fear of missing out on a supposedly good thing. Still, I’m raging about the decision I took to sell Nvidia a few weeks ago. Ah well…
Jobs will be lost, too, as AI-powered technology takes over people's roles. It’s already happening. But perhaps instead of robots taking your job, you keep it and be required to behave more robotically. So says Charlie Warzel at The Atlantic. It is a deepening of the division of Labour, only now, it’s not about dividing up the physical work as Fred Taylor had envisaged over 120 years ago; it is now about dividing up the mental and psychological Labour.
“In 1819, the famous economist David Ricardo wrote that the amount of employment in an economy was of no consequence, as long as the rent and profits, out of which flowed its new investment, were undiminished. “Indeed?” replied Simonde de Sismondi, a well-known Swiss critic of the time. Wealth is everything, men are absolutely nothing? What?… In truth then, there is nothing more to wish for than the king, remaining alone on the island, by constantly turning a crank, might produce, through automata, all the output of England.”
- Robert L. Heilbroner, foreword The End of Work
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