TThe robopocalypse for workers may be inevitable. In this vision of the future, super-smart machines will best humans in pretty much every task. A few of us will own the machines, a few will work a bit — perhaps providing “Made by Man” artisanal goods — while the rest will live off a government-provided income. Silicon-based superintelligence and robots will dramatically alter labor markets — to name but one example, the most common job in most U.S. states probably will no longer be truck driver.
But what about right now? If you’re unemployed or working part-time instead of full-time, or haven’t seen a raise in years, should you blame technology?
Yes, says venture capitalist and former Intel executive Bill Davidow. In a provocative piece for Harvard Business Review, “The Internet Has Been a Colossal Economic Disappointment,” Davidow makes a strong claim: “For all its economic virtues, the internet has been long on job displacement and short on job creation. As a result, it is playing a central role in wage stagnation and the decline of the middle class.”