Saturday, August 16, 2014

Humans Need Not Apply

Humans Need Not Apply, a new video from CGP Grey, is an excellent introduction to the advancements in automation technology and their purportedly inevitable domination of the economy. It covers everything from robotics to software automation, and does a good job showing how these new technologies will be penetrating essentially every occupation.

In terms of relevance to economic policy, this video also makes an excellent point about how high unemployment needs to be for a catastrophe. At the height of the great depression, the unemployment rate hovered around 25%---the proportion of the workforce currently in occupations with obvious potential for automation is 45%. Clearly, if even a fraction of that workforce begins to be displaced by automation, the consequences will go far beyond increasing income inequality.

Even if you're familiar with the ideas on this blog and automation, Humans Need Not Apply is worth a view, especially if you're still sure that technological displacement will never be anything to be worried about.