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Scenarios for the Transition to Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)

Core Concepts
The impact of automation on wages and output depends on the race between technological progress, capital accumulation, and task complexity.
The content delves into various scenarios for the transition to AGI, analyzing the effects of automation on output and wages. It introduces economic frameworks to evaluate different technological progress paths leading to AGI. The analysis considers bounded and unbounded task complexity distributions, highlighting the interplay between automation, capital accumulation, and labor scarcity. Key insights include equilibrium conditions under fixed supplies of capital and labor, effects of automation on factor prices frontier, dynamic settings with a focus on productivity growth, and implications for workers with heterogeneous skills. The content also explores societal choices in retaining certain jobs as exclusively human despite automation feasibility.
Advances in AI promise significant productivity gains. Automation may lead to broad-based gains in returns to all factors. Full automation can result in a collapse in wages. Capital accumulation moves the economy up on the factor price frontier. For given factor endowments, two regimes exist based on labor scarcity.
"We analyze how output and wages behave under different scenarios for technological progress that may culminate in Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)." - Anton Korinek and Donghyun Suh "Automation can have dramatic impacts on wages and output even before it reaches all tasks." - Anton Korinek and Donghyun Suh "Full automation within finite time leads to a collapse in wages." - Anton Korinek and Donghyun Suh

Key Insights Distilled From

by Anton Korine... at 03-20-2024
Scenarios for the Transition to AGI

Deeper Inquiries

What societal implications arise from retaining certain jobs as exclusively human despite their automatability?

Retaining certain jobs as exclusively human despite their automatability can have several societal implications. Firstly, it may lead to a divide in the labor market, with some workers benefiting from job security and potentially higher wages in these exclusive roles while others face displacement and lower wages due to automation. This could exacerbate income inequality and create social unrest. Secondly, maintaining certain jobs as exclusively human may perpetuate biases and discrimination in the workforce. If these roles are limited to specific demographics or groups of people, it can reinforce existing inequalities and hinder diversity and inclusion efforts. Furthermore, there could be ethical concerns regarding the nature of these exclusive roles. For example, if tasks that require empathy or moral judgment are reserved for humans while repetitive or dangerous tasks are automated, it raises questions about the value placed on different types of work and the potential impact on individuals' well-being. Overall, retaining certain jobs as exclusively human in an increasingly automated world may have far-reaching consequences for society's structure, equality, ethics, and overall well-being.

How might advancements in AI affect workers with heterogeneous skills differently?

Advancements in AI are likely to affect workers with heterogeneous skills differently based on the nature of their work tasks. Workers with routine or easily automatable tasks may face displacement as AI systems become more capable of performing these functions efficiently. This could lead to job loss for individuals who rely heavily on repetitive tasks that can be automated. Conversely, workers with complex cognitive skills such as problem-solving, creativity, emotional intelligence, or strategic thinking may see increased demand for their abilities. As AI takes over routine tasks, there will be a greater need for humans who excel in areas where machines struggle - such as interpersonal communication or creative decision-making. Additionally, workers who adapt quickly to new technologies and upskill themselves accordingly will likely thrive in an AI-driven economy. Those who resist change or lack access to training opportunities may find themselves at a disadvantage.

What are the ethical considerations surrounding full automation leading to wage collapses?

Full automation leading to wage collapses raises significant ethical considerations related to economic fairness, social stability, and individual well-being. One key concern is around distributive justice: if automation disproportionately benefits capital owners while displacing laborers without providing alternative means of livelihood, it can widen income inequality and create socioeconomic disparities. This raises questions about whether wealth generated by automation should be equitably distributed among all members of society Another ethical consideration is around dignity at work: work not only provides financial security but also contributes to one's sense of purpose, identity, and fulfillment. If widespread automation leads to mass unemployment or underemployment without meaningful alternatives, it could erode individuals' sense of self-worth and negatively impact mental health Moreover, the transition towards full automation must consider retraining programs reskilling initiatives universal basic income proposals to ensure that those affected by job displacement have support structures in place during this transformative period