He argues that we may need new institutions, such as insurance against job obsolescence:
I believe that humans are creative enough to come with the new institutions necessary to adapt to a changing world. What I fear is that we will not be allowed to do so. We do not live in an ideal free market, where we can choose whether or not to belong to any particular institution. Instead, we live in a mixed society where we are free to choose whether to belong to some institutions but other institutions are either mandated or forbidden. We are not always free to experiment with new institutions to identify the best ways to organize society.
If humans are free to experiment with new institutions, I believe we will find an excellent solution. However, there is a great danger that those who benefit from the status quo will use their influence to prevent the adoption of new institutions. Further, others will attempt to force institutions they think best on other people, leading to great suffering. The great danger we face is the danger of not being free enough to adapt to new and changing circumstances. More.
See also: Do technologies change cultures or were the changes inevitable anyway?
Winston Ewert’s dependency graph model of the relationship of life forms
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One Reply to “Winston Ewert: Will the Free Market Help or Hurt Us in an AI-Empowered World?”
As AI and robots become capable of more varied, sophisticated and flexible functions they will be able to do more and more of the jobs currently performed by humans, What will this do to a free market economy? It will destroy it.
A market is a pool of people with disposable income to spend on goods and services that may be offered to it. Where do the people get their disposable income? From working. But what if most of the jobs are now done by AI and robots? No jobs means no disposable income and no market into which all those goods and services can be sold.
So what happens to all those people displaced from jobs by all those robots and AI? The dwindling number of jobs remaining will be for highly-skilled and highly-trained specialists. Even if more were available, you can’t re-train all coal miners and factory workers to be top-flight programmers. You can’t turn all of them into the next Steve Jobs or Elon Musk.