Tyler Cowen’s Average is Over…outlines a predicted future where technology cleaves society into two disparate classes. The winners will be those whose skills complement those of the new machines. The losers will be, well, everyone else.
Mechanized intelligent analysis means that markets in Cowen’s iWorld are exceptionally accurate at measuring an individual’s economic value. As a result, America will become a “hyper-meritocracy,” where many careers become more demanding as employers will be able to measure economic value with “a sometimes oppressive precision” and “…the self-motivated will find it easier to succeed than ever before.”
Divided by outcomes, winners and losers are likely to have few chances for meaningful engagement with one another. For one thing the two groups are likely to live in entirely separate communities, and this residential economic segregation will mean that they share few common institutions. For these and a variety of other reasons, it is easy to imagine a highly polarized world providing little opportunity for upward mobility. (More)