Rebalancing AI

Article by Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson: “Optimistic forecasts regarding the growth implications of AI abound. AI adoption could boost productivity growth by 1.5 percentage points per year over a 10-year period and raise global GDP by 7 percent ($7 trillion in additional output), according to Goldman Sachs. Industry insiders offer even more excited estimates, including a supposed 10 percent chance of an “explosive growth” scenario, with global output rising more than 30 percent a year.

All this techno-optimism draws on the “productivity bandwagon”: a deep-rooted belief that technological change—including automation—drives higher productivity, which raises net wages and generates shared prosperity.

Such optimism is at odds with the historical record and seems particularly inappropriate for the current path of “just let AI happen,” which focuses primarily on automation (replacing people). We must recognize that there is no singular, inevitable path of development for new technology. And, assuming that the goal is to sustainably improve economic outcomes for more people, what policies would put AI development on the right path, with greater focus on enhancing what all workers can do?…(More)”