The odd thing about these pronouncements, of course, is that they proceed as if there is no human choice in the matter, and that “efficiency” or economics is in control of the world.
As for“the rise of artificial intelligence”: Maybe. In very limited ways. But mostly? Not so much. And not in the foreseeable future, either.
It’s a real thing that automation takes human jobs — but that’s been true for over 100 years. But largely, communities have adjusted, and new/different jobs arose. And there’s another unspoken assumption buried here, too — that humans will keep depending on a factory/corporate mentality to provide meaning and sustenance to their lives.
Nobody knows the future. Especially Bill Gates, for goodness sake, who helped invent Microsoft Windows, one of the ugliest and most burdensome pieces of technology in the modern era. He sees the world through the lens of a simplistic win/lose economy, and he’s most often wrong (check his record of ‘predictions’).
But more simply, we place to much on the back of technology. We expect it to make our human communities better, but really it’s mostly made them *different*. I’m not talking medicine here, I’m talking the obsession over automation, computerization.