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Astral Codex Ten Podcast

Dec 24, 2019



[This is an entry to the 2019 Adversarial Collaboration Contest by Doug Summers-Stay and Erusian]

Adversarial collaboration on the question: “Automation/AI will not lead to a general, sustained economic crisis within our lifetimes or for the foreseeable future. Automation/AI’s effects into the future will have effects similar to technology’s effects in the past and, on the whole, follow the general trend.”

Defending the proposition: Erusian

Challenging the proposition: Doug Summers-Stay

tldr: Until the pace of automation increases faster than new jobs can be created, AI shouldn’t be expected to cause mass unemployment or anything like that. When AI can pick up a new job as quickly and cheaply as a person can, then the economy will break (but everything else will break too, because that would be the Singularity).


As software and hardware grow more capable each year, many are concerned that automation of jobs will lead to some sort of economic crisis. This could take the form of permanent high levels of unemployment, wages that drop below subsistence levels for many workers, or an abrupt change to a different economic system in response to these conditions.