The more I think about it the more I am convinced that automation forces us to revisit, re-evaluate and rethink some of the fundamental “building blocks” of society. Think finance, business, work, energy, health and law. But this is not going to be easy. Take the example of work.

Broadly speaking, we can distinguish between two schools of thought, even among those who accept that automation will soon transform the workplace. The first group points to the emergence of mass poverty, wealth inequality and new forms of social exclusion as a result of automation depriving large sections of the workforce of employment opportunities. The second group takes a more positive view. They are convinced that we will find ways to deal with these issues. They believe that those groups that have traditionally performed routine work will be able to find alternatives.

But, in one important sense, it does not matter…

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