Jul 1 2023

Up to a point…

Gideon Lichfield picks apart [copy at Wired|copy at archive.is] Mark Andreessen’s latest bit of AI boosterism:

Andreessen begins by setting up a straw man: the notion that AI will take all our jobs.” Like, literally all. He then knocks it down by pointing to the so-called lump of labor fallacy,” which is the incorrect notion that there is a fixed amount of labor to be done in the economy at any given time, and either machines do it or people do it - and if machines do it, there will be no work for people to do.”

I’d be surprised if Andreessen’s highly educated audience actually believes the lump of labor fallacy, but he goes ahead and dismantles it anyway, introducing - as if it were new to his readers - the concept of productivity growth.

Andreessen is a clever guy up to the point where it’s in his interests to present a stupid argument. A depressingly common trend nowadays.

[Via Memex 1.1]