Picture this: In a scene straight out of “The Terminator,” Terminators march into a major city, metallic voices, snazzy ties, and all.

But wait, there’s more! Imagine these Terminators are not on a mission to terminate humanity; in an unexpected twist, they’re in this major city asking for humans’ help, and are willing to pay for it.

They’ve come, not to take over or destroy humanity, but for something far less sinister: job recruitment.

Welcome to a world where AI helps to transform the job market in ways we never imagined, and maybe, just maybe, makes us laugh along the way (we’ll get to that part).

The advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and automation have undoubtedly reshaped various industries, from manufacturing and transportation to healthcare and finance. While these technologies offer numerous benefits, there are growing concerns about their impact on employment and job displacement.

The fear that AI and automation will lead to mass unemployment is founded, yes. But it should be noted that past technological disruptions have eventually led to net job creation. Further, The McKinsey Global Institute conducted a comprehensive study on the impact of automation on the job market and found that while certain job categories might see a decline, new roles will emerge to offset the loss. Their study revealed that only about 5 percent of jobs could be fully automated, suggesting that the majority of tasks will still require human expertise.

Moreover, AI and automation can improve working conditions and job satisfaction for workers. Many jobs that are likely to be automated are those that are repetitive, low-paying, and potentially hazardous, such as assembly line work or data entry. By automating these jobs, workers can be freed up to do more creative and fulfilling work that cannot be easily automated.

Additionally, AI technologies can be applied in numerous sectors to enhance efficiency and productivity. For example, AI-powered machines and algorithms can work continuously without breaks or vacations, leading to increased output and lower costs for businesses. Those lower production costs should translate to lower prices for consumers and potentially lead to an increase in consumer spending and demand for products and services, stimulating economic growth.

AI and automation could also have significant social and environmental benefits. Indeed, AI-powered farming techniques could increase food production and reduce the need for manual labor, but they could also decrease the use of pesticides and other harmful chemicals, promoting sustainability and environmental conservation.

Lawmakers would be smart to keep all of this in mind, and to remember that all of these benefits can develop without their — ahem — help. Instead of imposing strict regulations, would-be regulators should support voluntary industry standards and self-regulation, allowing AI companies to collaboratively establish best practices for responsible AI development and usage.

One way to encourage self-regulation and collaboration is to make the enforcement of intellectual property rights less draconian. AI researchers and developers should be able to share findings and technologies without fear of legal ramifications, and allowing voluntary collaboration and incentivizing open-source initiatives can lead to a wealth of shared resources and accelerated progress in AI development. 

By embracing this kind of decentralized and cooperative approach, we can unlock the full potential of AI technologies, driving societal progress and maximizing the benefits for all.

To maintain a competitive and innovative market environment, legislators should also avoid creating barriers to entry — like minimum-wage laws, the requirement of permits, and many others — for AI developers and businesses. As lawmakers start scheming up legislation to regulate AI, a commitment to the principles of liberty will be crucial to ensure that we — humanity — get the most out of AI that we can, while still empowering us to address the legitimate concerns related to AI and automation. 

By promoting voluntary industry standards, self-regulation, and a competitive market environment, legislators can foster responsible AI development that maximizes its potential benefits for society while mitigating its risks. It is through these principles of liberty that AI can be integrated seamlessly into our lives, empowering individuals to thrive in a technologically advancing world.

Finally, brace yourself for a twist! 

Picture this: Terminators strolling the streets, ready to terminate your … hunger or sadness! You walk up to one, feeling a bit down, and it chirps, “Hello there, human. Are you experiencing sadness.exe? Let me terminate that for you with a cheerful joke or a heartwarming meme!”

You can’t help bursting into laughter as the joke or meme brightens your day. And wait, there’s more! With a wink, the Terminator adds, “By the way, would you like me to light you a joint or serve you a drink? We’re all about the ‘Terminating the Stress’ package here!”

Once fearsome machines turning into happiness providers and relaxation experts? Doesn’t sound too bad at all, does it?

Further reading

For more content on related topics here at Learn Liberty, be sure to check out the following articles:

Is AI our generation’s nuclear fission?

Why innovation is the solution to the carbon crisis

Out with the coal, in with the nuclear

Why some countries succeed and others don’t

Minimum wage laws deny low-skilled workers their autonomy

Permissionless innovation: The fuzzy idea that rules our lives

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This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organization as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions.