This perceptive economist knows what he is writing about in this piece which especially alerts middle class workers that automation and artificial intelligence will, under the rules of capitalist ownership, eliminate many of their jobs, their income, their perks, and their celebrated social status. Unskilled and semi-skilled workers have experienced this for decades, but now this trend is now beginning to affect the college educated middle class. Ruccio makes some allusions about the remedy in the final paragraphs.
There’s nothing inevitable about these effects. It’s not robots and artificial intelligence per se that are going to negatively affect workers. What matters is how the robots and new kinds of software are created and utilized within the current set of economic institutions—as a way of increasing profits and exacerbating inequality.
We can, of course, imagine an entirely different set of effects—ways that robots and artificial intelligence might serve to eliminate onerous tasks and lessen the amount of work we all have to do.
But that’s going to require fundamentally changing the existing set of economic institutions. That, and not robots and artificial intelligence, is the real challenge facing us.