The calculus is one of today’s most important global questions as economists face early evidence of trouble. We’re in a new era of work in which wages barely grow and newly created jobs are either at the very top of the skills matrix, like in AI, or at the bottom, like in Amazon warehouses.
Jesuthasan gives an example in the form of a question: Should oil service companies field completely autonomous drilling rigs, and eliminate the positions currently held by humans, or keep things largely as they are?
“The technology to create completely autonomous or remote-controlled operations is here today,” he said. But the danger is that such tech could “trigger a race to the bottom,” in which profit is everything and it doesn’t matter whether people have jobs.