For centuries, society has witnessed technological upheavals, ranging from mechanization to automation, through computerization and, more recently, artificial intelligence (AI). At each stage, an underlying fear is felt: that these advancements will steal our jobs.
Let’s go back to the 2000s, where the specter of outsourcing caused great concern, followed by the panic of automation in the 2010s. Despite all these doom-and-gloom predictions, the facts show an upward trend in well-paying jobs, especially in 2019.
But like any legend, that of human obsolescence in the face of AI resurfaces. Many skeptics claim that AI could eliminate the need for human labor altogether.
The main misconception lies in the « Fallacy of Lump of Labor, » a mistaken belief suggesting that the volume of work is static in an economy. According to this view, if machines take over, there would be nothing left for humans. However, the introduction of technology into industries has proven that it not only creates more jobs but also boosts wages through increased productivity.
It has also stimulated economic growth, generated new jobs, and catalyzed the creation of new industries. As economist Milton Friedman so aptly said, « human wants and needs are infinite. » In other words, there will always be demand, and technology, far from destroying jobs, is actually a driver of growth.
Faced with the rise of AI, the question arises: are we going to witness a complete replacement of the human workforce? If that were the case, it would mean phenomenal economic growth, a revolution in consumption, and an explosion of demand. The creation of jobs and new industries would be inevitable.
In conclusion, rather than fearing AI, let’s embrace it. After all, if history is any indicator, we may be on the cusp of an era of unprecedented prosperity.