Automation and the Future of Work in the Pandemic Economy, Lecture, Aaron Benanav

2021-06-08 Centre for Digital Cultures – Summer Term 2021


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Silicon Valley titans, politicians, techno-futurists, and social critics have united in arguing that we are on the cusp of an era of rapid technological automation, heralding the end of work as we know it. Have they got a point? The contemporary automation discourse responds to a real, global trend: there are too few jobs for too many people. However, it has misattributed the present-day, weak demand for labor to the rise of the robots and technical breakthroughs in artificial intelligence. Aaron Benanav explains what is really behind this alarming trend, and explores the forces that will now shape the contours of the emergent post-pandemic economy.

Aaron Benanav is a researcher at Humboldt University of Berlin. His first book, Automation and the Future of Work was published with Verso Books in November 2020. His writing has appeared in the GuardianDissentLogic Magazine, New Left ReviewBoston Review, and New Statesman. He is now working on a follow-up book on post-scarcity economics.

Automation and the Future of Work, Verso Books

"A World without Work?" Dissent Magazine

"How to Make a Pencil", Logic Magazine