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Why We'll Never Run Out of Jobs


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My keynote about AI, technological unemployment, and the Next Economy, from the O'Reilly AI Conference in NYC, on Monday September 26, 2016.

Published in: Technology
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Why We'll Never Run Out of Jobs

  1. Why We’ll Never Run Out of Jobs Tim O’Reilly O’Reilly Media @timoreilly O’Reilly AI Conference September 26, 2016
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  6. #OReillyAI @timoreilly 1. Are we done yet, solving the world’s problems? “Technology is the solution to human problems. We won’t run out of work till we run out of problems.” #Verge #NextEconomy @timoreilly Nick Hanauer
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  12. #OReillyAI @timoreilly Text #Verge #NextEconomy @timoreilly “Back in the 1930s, when there were homeless encampments in Washington, D.C., very much like the homeless encampments that are now under the I-280 in San Francisco, the federal government invested capital in new industries to create jobs for millions of people. They created tax codes that redistributed from the rich to the poor…. One obvious step, Hyman says, would be to put to work the "great sloshing pool of money" that investment banks and companies have been keeping on the sidelines since the financial crisis. Pay workers more so they have more to spend, and invest in creative risk-taking and innovative ideas, as happened during the New Deal. The New Deal’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation not only helped light up America — moving it from 10 percent of homes having electricity in 1930 to more than 60 percent a decade later — it also funded research in the Defense Plant Corporation. “It was fundamentally about investment in edgy technology, so things like aerospace, aluminum extraction, synthetic rubber were all brought to scale,” Hyman says. “Aerospace before 1939 had fewer people working in it than worked in candy manufacturing. And after World War II, the aerospace industry was four times the size of the pre-war car industry. This is incredible scale and scope of an endeavor, to utterly transform the economy in about five years, by using idle capital.”
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  14. #OReillyAI @timoreilly “God did not make being an auto worker a good job!” David Rolf, SEIU
  15. #OReillyAI @timoreilly The use of automation by business to reduce labor costs and increase profits is a social and political choice, not an economic law!
  16. #OReillyAI @timoreilly Could AI help us better understand how to play the economics game?
  17. #OReillyAI @timoreilly 2. As some things become commodities, other things become more valuable "When attractive profits disappear at one stage in the value chain because a product becomes modular and commoditized, the opportunity to earn attractive profits with proprietary products will usually emerge at an adjacent stage." -- Clayton Christensen Author of The Innovator's Solution In Harvard Business Review, February 2004
  18. #OReillyAI @timoreilly Macarthur fellow Dave Hickey argues in his book Air Guitar that when the automobile became a commodity, Harley Earl, who headed the design division at General Motors after World War II, turned the auto industry from one driven by manufacturing innovation into one driven by design -- in effect, an "art market," one that "stopped advertising products for what they were, or for what they could do, and began advertising them for what they meant. Apple did this for the computer industry.
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  21. #OReillyAI @timoreilly Rich economies indulge in things that appear to be useless, but are really all about status “I consider the pyramids to be a monument to the insufficiency of all human enjoyments. He who has built for use till use is supplied must begin to build for vanity” Samuel Johnson, Rasselas (The Choice of Life) 1753
  22. #OReillyAI @timoreilly “It has been estimated that between one-fifth and one-third of women in Seoul have gone under the knife, and one poll reported by the BBC puts the figure at fifty per cent or higher for women in their twenties. Men, by one account, make up fifteen per cent of the market”
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  24. #OReillyAI @timoreilly 3. Economic Transformation Takes Time and Effort! Goldman Sachs Investment Research estimates it won’t be till 2060 that all vehicles are autonomous! The AI transformation itself will drive the economy for decades to come!
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  26. #OReillyAI @timoreilly But we do have a responsibility to get the transformation right!
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  29. #OReillyAI @timoreilly Text #OReillyAI @timoreilly The weavers of Ned Ludd’s rebellion couldn’t imagine…
  30. #OReillyAI @timoreilly What we fight with is so small. And when we win, it makes us small. This is how we grow: by being defeated, decisively, by constantly greater beings. (Paraphrase of “The Man Watching,” by Rainer Maria Rilke) 34