AI and Wealth Inequality: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Avoidance?

HOT TAKE: People who refuse to use AI because of concerns it will contribute to widening the economic gap might be actively contributing to making their concerns a reality.

Ok, I’ll explain.

It seems highly likely that AI will facilitate another wealth transfer.

You create value by giving society what it wants. If you do it at scale and capture a small percentage of it, you get wealthy.
Money is how you transfer wealth.

AI can elevate most of your skills to (above) average level. It can help you do things faster and create more.

This means that you can create more value for the society by using it.

Computers are just robots living in the “cloud”, and we’ll get real autonomous robots in a few years too.

This means that you can use them to scale your output once you find your unique way of offering value to society.

Many people who do this will also capture some portion of the value they create and become wealthy. Regardless of whether they started wealthy or not. AI will be the leverage for their judgment.

Those who avoid AI for fears of inequality it might create WILL fall behind in the value they are able to create, AND in what they capture.

Thus creating the inequality they were afraid of.

Their belief will become their self-fulfilling prophecy.

Cat is out of the bag, genie’s out of the bottle, AI is here to stay.

The best thing we can do to minimize the impact on economic inequality is to get everyone onboarded to using AI at the same time – and since it’s too late for that – as soon as possible.

Just like you reach for your phone to look something up or take a photo, you need to learn to think with AI assistants and agents available.

But Z, the rich will get richer, how is this “wealth transfer”?

Many of the rich became rich because they used some kind of leverage. Wealth, money, is just one form of leverage.

I argue here that AI is a lot more powerful form of leverage than money.

Many of the rich know how to spot leverage and position themselves to use it, and those who do that will get richer. Those who don’t, won’t.

And sure, their current wealth will help, but won’t be the most important factor.

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