In this section, we will explore scenarios regarding how advances in AI might impact the economy, focusing on whether AI could dramatically accelerate economic growth.

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Review Questions

Explain how human-level AI might cause explosive economic growth.


Human-level AI can substitute for human labor, increasing the effective economic population. Some argue that this would enable unprecedented economic growth, according to growth theories that link population to economic output.

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What are some potential bottlenecks to dramatic acceleration of economic growth through AI?


Physical constraints and non-accumulable factors e.g. land, energy

Regulations and human preferences for social interaction

Challenges in accelerating R&D if "low-hanging fruit" is already taken

Bottlenecks from non-automated tasks e.g. if automation of physical tasks in manufacturing and logistics lags behind

Baumol’s cost disease: non-automated jobs may experience rising costs, muting the overall economic impact

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