AI Labor Market: A Nightmare or a Chimera?

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 11:15
Oral Presentation
Cenk OZDAG, Middle East Technical University, Turkey
Technological enhancement can be rendered as a game of hazard for the working class. As a consumer, technological enhancement whets one’s appetite, and yet, as a laborer, one can react as a luddist by the fear of unemployment. This fear of unemployment is not a mere illusion, especially for an unskilled labor. And it can be expected for an unskilled labor and for social groups, who are destined for supplying labor for unskilled jobs, to be against technological enhancement. But there is also a recently emerging form of the fear of unemployment because of the achievements of AI technology for skilled jobs. Till now, technological enhancement, while undertaking some drudgery and some occupations, has created new forms of jobs and new occupations. However, as a result of information revolution and the exponential progress in AI technologies, the latter does not seem to be a warrant for the relief of skilled human laborers. At the other end of the trade-off analysis, there lies the expectancy for AI technologies for better life conditions for all. The odds for the dangers of AI for skilled human laborer seem to be increasing. This can be rendered as a potential threat against technological enhancement. For the other part of the conflict, the most effective motivational instruments for the functioning of capitalist mechanisms, namely money and consent, have no impact on any potential AI laborer, at least for now we do not have sufficient grounds to think otherwise. Furthermore, as a result of the increase in the unemployment of human laborers, the consumer population would diminish immensely, which would reduce the sales of goods. As a result, the enhancement of AI technology can be rendered as a threat both for capitalism and for the wealth of working class.