Can AI Create Jobs Rather than Destroy Them? (

In the 1970s, I used one of the first Automated Teller Machines (ATM). Once they started to gain traction, it was clear that banks would reduce staff and jobs would be destroyed.

While that is true, it missed the larger story.

Without the expenses of armies of tellers, it became inexpensive to open branches. There was a race to open branches everywhere.

Each of these branches had a smaller staff, but there were so many of them that there was (an admittedly small) net increase in jobs.

AI assistants perhaps double the productivity of programmers. Will half of the programmers in the world lose their jobs? Or will the reduced cost of software development enable the creation of so many new projects that there will be a net increase in programming jobs?

I honestly have no idea which will be the case. I don’t know that anyone else does.

This article was inspired by 80,000 Hours Podcast Episode 222: “2023 Mega-highlights Extravaganza.”

Until I can find a primary URL for it, I can offer these secondary links:

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Posted by Russell Brand

Russell has started three successful companies, one of which helped agencies of the federal government become very early adopters of open source software, long before that term was coined. His first project saved The American taxpayer 250 million dollars. In his work within federal agency, he was often called, “the arbiter of truth,” facilitating historically hostile groups and factions to effectively work together towards common goals


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