Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

AI economics

In 1987, American economist and Nobel laureate Robert Solow expressed the thinking of many: “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics”. Now, there’s a similar question on artificial intelligence: “is 2024 going to be more like 1987 or more like 1995?” (Axios)

Axios Macro: “In the 1990s and early 2000s, a revolution in information technology helped fuel a productivity boom — and with it, an environment of rapid growth, rising wages and low inflation.” Hence, how long will it take before the economic impact of AI becomes visible in productivity statistics??

In my view, the probable answer is “1995” rather than “1987” because there is too much AI development in the Business-to-Consumer segment, while the biggest strengths – and thus gains – will be in the B2B segment. In my view, the very same happened in information technology.

My 2023 diagram shows the various strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of artificial intelligence:

source: my 2023 blog Artificial Intelligence, a SWOT analysis

It will take time (eg, decades) to materialize those strengths and opportunities and to reduce weaknesses and threats. The same happened with the other main stages in the development of technology, being:

  • before 1800: tools (eg, agriculture, building, weapons);
  • 1800-1900: mechanization (eg, steam engine);
  • 1900-2000: automation (eg, workflow);
  • 2000-2100:
source: my 2021 blog on Mechanization, Automation, AI & Robotics

My diagram does not show any development beyond AI and robotics. Perhaps because of my (subconscious) agreement with the Nick Bostrom quote below. I have no clue what even could come beyond artificial intelligence. Similarly, I fail to see what is beyond human intelligence.

“”Machine intelligence is the last invention that humanity will ever need to make. Machines will then be better at inventing than we are.” 

A quote from a 2015 Ted Talk by Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom (b.1973)

One Step Beyond (1964) by Madness (1979)
band, lyrics, video, Wiki-band, Wiki-song

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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