Graphik: Bulletpoint Abstracts issue 4/2017 (English)

Gunther Tichy: How Dangerous are Robots?

Media, politicians and even scientists disseminate the vision of a »second machine age«. The scenario is exclusively technologically based, disregarding completely economic and social feasibility, as ¬well as the job-creating potential of digitisation. Up to now, however, neither digitisation-caused acceleration of technical progress nor corresponding job losses occurred. Economic and social policy should take the problem seriously, nevertheless. Even without an acceleration of technical progress, considerable changes in the composition of employment – hollowing out of middle qualifications – will materialise; the split-up of production in tasks will, furthermore, create serious problems of social security and employment law. At least as important, serious shifts in income distribution may occur as a result of digitisation-caused efficiency gains. Will gains focus one-¬sidedly on the entrepreneurs, a recession may occur. Policy will have to ascertain that the efficiency gains are distributed to consumers in terms of increasing wages or lower prices.

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