Intelligence Squared US Debates: Automation Will Crash Democracy
Where: Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College
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Around the world, technology is disrupting the workforce, with automation poised to displace humans in the fields of medicine, agriculture, and beyond. Will the rise of robots fuel a new wave of “us versus them” populism capable of undermining democracy?
For some, the answer is yes. They argue that as people lose jobs to robots, the gap between the rich and poor widens, distrust in government and democratic institutions grows, and populist ideas become more attractive to those who feel left behind. The importance of work trumps the importance of democracy, leaving a clear path for authoritarians to rise under nationalist messages that pit groups of people against one another. But others paint a different picture: They argue that humans have adapted to – and benefited from – new innovations for centuries. From the advent of water and steam power to computers, work has changed, but never disappeared. And as automation drives higher productivity growth, humans can reach their full potential and pursue societal innovation, allowing more citizens to feel fulfilled and strengthening democracy on the whole.
For the motion
Ian Bremmer is the president and founder of Eurasia Group, the leading global political risk research and consulting firm, and president of GZERO… Read More
Yascha Mounk is a lecturer on political theory at Harvard University, a senior fellow at New America, and a postdoctoral fellow at the German Marshall… Read More
Against the motion
Andrew Keen is one of the world’s best known and controversial commentators on the digital revolution. He is an internet entrepreneur and the author… Read More
Alina Polyakova is the David M. Rubenstein Fellow at the Brookings Institution and an adjunct professor of European studies at Johns Hopkins University… Read More