Replied to The Problem with Blaming Robots for Taking Our Jobs by Jane Hu (The New Yorker)

[p]roductivity will continue to shrink worldwide, producing fewer and fewer jobs, not just for those living in high-income countries but for everyone.

This poses a few problems for automation theorists. First, the very fact of overcapacity means that economic growth is unlikely, and this results in fewer companies being able, or willing, to invest in new automation technology. Second, rising levels of unemployment mean more workers are vying for jobs, and competition both keeps wages low and further reduces incentives to invest in automation. In this way, Benanav writes, automation optimists mistake โ€œtechnical feasibilityโ€ for โ€œeconomic viability.โ€ Why would companies throw money at a machine that might work tomorrow, when there are plenty of humans willing to work for much less today?

So it would seem that human’s ‘automating’ and producing productivity gains is the future of automation? Less magic and more hard work.