Technological Unemployment, AI, and Workplace Standardization: The Convergence Argument


  • Marc Saner University of Ottawa
  • Wendell Wallach Yale University



The current debate over technological unemployment sacrifices significant analytic value because it is one-sided, limited in scope, and sequential. We show that analyzing technological innovations in parallel with apparently independent socio-economic innovations and trends offers important analytical benefits. Our focus is on socio-economic innovations and trends that standardize education, workplace requirements, and culture. A highly standardized workplace is not only more suitable for international outsourcing; it is also more suitable for machine labor. In this context, we identify five specific research questions that would benefit from parallel analysis and scenarios. We also introduce the concepts “functional equivalency” and “functional singularity” (in juxtaposition to technological singularity) to provide semantic tools that emphasize the importance of an integrated approach, capable of tracking and analyzing two interacting and potentially converging trends.




How to Cite

Technological Unemployment, AI, and Workplace Standardization: The Convergence Argument. (2015). Journal of Ethics and Emerging Technologies, 25(1), 74-80.

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