Long Reads: Aaron Benanav on Automation and the Long Downturn
Science fiction has traditionally depicted a robot takeover as a conscious bid for global domination by our mechanical offspring. From The Terminator to The Matrix, we’ve been invited to picture a war to the death between man and machine. More recently however, figures like Elon Musk have spoken about the rise of the robots as a more insidious threat to humanity; the machines may bear us no ill will, but they’ll cast us on the scrap heap of technological unemployment anyway.
Aaron Benanav, author of Automation and the Future of Work, joins Long Reads to discuss what this conventional wisdom around technology and jobs gets wrong—and what a realistic path to a post-scarcity world might look like.
Long Reads is a Jacobin podcast looking in-depth at political topics and thinkers, both contemporary and historical, with the magazine’s longform writers. Hosted by Features Editor Daniel Finn. Produced by Conor Gillies, music by Knxwledge.