What to Do About the Coming Economic Uncertainty Due to AI

The economic uncertainty posed by AI is likely to come very fast and is not well-understood or easily predictable, at least in any detailed manner. But it is quite predictable that AI will cause radical economic changes already within the next decade and this disruption carries great risks and the possibility of great societal pain. The development of more and more powerful AI and its integration into all aspects of the economy are essentially unavoidable as this will bring great benefits and give massive advantages to those who deploy it. Leaving aside, for the moment, concerns about the existential risks posed to humanity (because these are not immediate threats and are also already much talked about), we are concerned that, unlike the hazards of climate change, many of the imminent dangers to the economy posed by AI are not publically well-understood, such as job-displacement, increasing inequality both within and between countries, regulatory challenges, over-reliance on AI, international shifts in economic power as well as economic interdependence, disruption of traditional industries, and cybersecurity problems.

So we have invited Mark, Henry, and Ali, who’ve all been pondering how to deal with AI-specific economic risk, to a symposium to take place over a weekend (the formal part of the symposium will be on July 27) this summer in the Italian alps where they will exchange ideas from their diverse perspectives with a small and select group of guests.

I once said that the Hamptons are not a defensible position. It turns out I was right. —Mark Blyth
We’re talking about risk here, and how to deal with it. This is something Mark Blyth has been thinking about for some time. Happily, he does his thinking with a good deal of wit and a nice dash of charm to boot, as can be seen in the above quote. Charm notwithstanding, Mark happens to be an excellent and celebrated political economist, and economists are good for thinking about risk and how to mitigate it and develop hedges against it.

Henry Shevlin is a philosopher who has been teaching AI Ethics at Cambridge University and leads the Consciousness and Intelligence project at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at Cambridge, which is a highly interdisciplinary research center addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by AI. As Professor Stephen Hawking said at the Centre’s launch, AI is “likely to be either the best or worst thing ever to happen to humanity, so there’s huge value in getting it right.”

Ali Minai’s research interests include AI, neural networks, complex systems and networks, computational models of cognition and behavior, distributed multi-agent systems, and computational linguistics. Besides being a professor of computer science who has also served as President of the International Neural Network Society, Ali has recently been thinking and writing about AI Risk.

Read more here.