Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Unemployment? No.

—–Original Message—–
From: J
Sent: Mon 7/24/2017 3:56 PM
Subject: Artificial Intelligence taking away all jobs

Hi Professor Block, I’ve been interested lately in the future of humans and jobs in light of artificial intelligence. I’m curious what Austrian economists have to say on the matter, but I’ve not been able to find what I’m looking for. All I can find are articles saying the same old stuff: Yes, robots will take our
jobs, but this will create jobs we can’t even imagine. But what if robots and AI can do those jobs, too? They also say that robots and AI will
replace jobs that require manual labor or easy cognitive tasks, and that jobs requiring creativity and empathy will flourish. However AI is already
creating music and art, and it would be easy to program a machine to read human expressions and voice tone and respond in an empathetic way, perhaps better than a human could. This is the part I wonder about. It seems that ANYTHING a human can do a machine will eventually be able to do. The only suggestion I’ve heard that gives me some comfort is the idea that humans will only want to buy art from other humans, and they will only want to
empathize with other humans, so those jobs will not be replaced by machines (even though machines could do them).

Do you know of any good publications by Austrians on this topic (or would you care to give your thoughts on it)? Thanks for all the reading lists
you’ve been providing. They are wonderful. J

Dear J: As it happens, I’ve published something on this issue:

Murren, Adam and Walter E. Block. 2017. “What impact will automation have on the twenty-first century economy.” Laissez-Faire. No. 46 (March), pp. 54-64;;

For more good Austrian material, on this or any other subject under the sun, go to and poke around.


6:13 pm on July 29, 2017