How AI’s threatens our economies, societies, and democracies


In six months, a year, or two, from now, the first wave of AI-made layoffs will hit the economy.

A whole lot of execs, having figured out that a whole lot of people are beginning to use AI to do their jobs, are going to dispense with the middleman.

They won’t care very much if the resulting work — writing copy, reviewing documents, forming relationships — is done with little care, and less quality. They’re just going to see the dollar signs.

And then what?

Because we’re already in an economy where people are stretched so thin that they’re using buy now, pay later to pay for groceries.

That’s a last resort.

They’re maxed out in every other way.

They’ve tapped out their “credit,” their incomes have cratered in real terms relative to eye-watering inflation, they have no real resources left.

What happens if you take an economy stretched that thin…and pull?

It breaks.

Those layoffs will lead to delinquencies and bad debt, which will cause bank failures, which will require the classic sequence of bailouts, shrunken public services, and lower investment.

And then we’ll be in the first economic AI crash — right when it’s supposed to be booming.

Those jobs?

They’re never coming back.

A hole will have been ripped in the economy.

You can already see glimmers of what those jobs are — not really jobs, entire fields and industries will be decimated, and already are.

Those who are proficient in manipulating AI think they’re clever for holding down four, five, six jobs at once — but the flip side of the coin is that they’re taking them from other people.

You can see the writing on the wall.

Many forms of pink-collar work? Toast. Clerical work, organizational work, secretarial slash assistant style work.

And then you can go up the ladder. Graphic designers and musicians?

Good luck, you’re going to need it.

Writers (shudder) and publishers and editors? LOL.

All the way up to programmers, who used to be, not so long ago, the economy’s newest and most in-demand profession.

We can keep going, almost endlessly. Therapists? Check. Doctors — GPs? Eventually.

Even…all those executives themselves…who will fire today’s pink-collar masses?


And from there, you begin to see the scale and scope of the problem.

It’s not that AI’s going to “kill us all.” We’re doing a pretty good job of that, in case you haven’t noticed.

But it is that AI is going to rip away from us the three things that we value most. Our economies, human interaction, and in the end, democracy.

I’ve taken you through the first, just a little bit. Let’s consider the second, human interaction. Continue reading

  • Umair Haque is one of the world’s leading thinkers. He is a member of the Thinkers50, the authoritative ranking of the globe’s top management experts.
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