Balancing AI Productivity with Human Investment: Navigating the Distribution of Technological Gains

AI’s remarkable capacity to automate repetitive tasks, process vast amounts of data, and generate insights from its learnings holds immense potential to revolutionize productivity. This potential, however, extends beyond mere efficiency gains, with the ability to reshape societal structures and norms. This broader perspective is crucial to our understanding of AI’s impact.

But let’s pause and consider, where exactly would these productivity gains be directed?

  • To individual well-being and time back to the family, community?
  • To stakeholders, investors, and executives who expect more employee output?
  • Somewhere in between, leaning where and by how much?

I live for efficiency, innovation, and investments. My brain has always gravitated towards them – that is why I am an engineer; I use AI and learn about AI as much as I can. I support crowdfunding raises; those who know me know I can talk about investing for days. If used effectively, finance (technically economics) and technology create value. We should aim for productivity and value if we are to advance. But equally or even more important than whether we create value is who benefits from that value.

I am not concerned with AI. Like any tool, its use magnifies the intent and effectiveness of its user. Responsible AI investments, such as those focused on transparency and fairness, are crucial to ensure that AI benefits many without causing harm or exacerbating existing societal issues. What I am concerned about is people, especially at a time when mental health and dividedness are a threat. Even if AI is responsible, where the productivity gains will go still lies with humans and our ability to be fair and just.

While companies are pouring billions of dollars into AI, who is investing billions of dollars in people? While AI models are constantly being trained, are we being taught enough to be critical, fair, and just?