The fourth industrial revolution will create unprecedented levels of frictional unemployment

July 10, 2019, 8:15 am

Agree22 Disagree23


The debate "The fourth industrial revolution will create unprecedented levels of frictional unemployment" was started by Allirix on July 10, 2019, 8:15 am. 22 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 23 people are on the disagree side. That might be enough to see the common perception. It looks like most people are against to this statement.

Allirix posted 1 argument, TheExistentialist posted 1 argument to the agreers part.
MightyJackalope posted 1 argument to the disagreers part.

Allirix, Nemiroff, TheExistentialist, alfiya, Debatelegend and 17 visitors agree.
Light, MightyJackalope, CastLight, chelseat99, Agrumentman, meek, Rayyan989, NoctaRavage, Facundo4261Arg and 14 visitors disagree.

While I agree with @Historybuff on the idea that we don't necessarily know which new jobs we'll get from AI and increased automation, we can say that: if left unchecked capital consolidation towards the top will be a major problem.
Fig. 1 shows the correlation between output and wages. Since 2000 we have seen an exponential increase in productivity but have also seen a relatively stagnant wage. The increase in productivity increases the income inequality between labor and capital since capital gets the benefit of increased productivity instead of it being passed to labor.

Since AI will not only take over manual labor, but will likely replace some skilled labor, the ramifications are not really known yet. However, it is very likely that the impacts of AI will be much greater than those of mere automation. I think concepts like a Universal Basic Income (UBI) will eventually need to become tools for stabilizing income inequality.

2 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree it's unclear whether labour demand will go up or down. Maybe opportunities will outstrip redundancies and labour demand will be at an unprecedented high.

What's more clear is the professional labour market is trending towards shorter-term work and for more specialised skills. This massively increases the time labour demand and supply take to find each other i.e frictional unemployment will go up a tonne.

2 months, 2 weeks ago

It's hard to say yet. A great many jobs will become redundant and be lost. But there is no way to know what new jobs will be created during this process.

However, given that the point of much of the technology is to reduce costs, and human workers cost more than a machine, the intention is to eliminate workers to the greatest extent possible. Because the end goal of much of this technology is to cause massive unemployment, It seems reasonable to assume that this will be the outcome.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

Maybe larger unemployment issues than we are used to, but certainly not unprecedented. For the most part of history, the vast majority of humans practiced agriculture, now there's something around less than 1 in 50 Americans are farmers. Of course a lot of human labor will become automated, but the market share for creative labor will skyrocket

2 months, 3 weeks ago
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