History shows AI will create more jobs than it destroys, Deutsche Bank analysts argue
Analysts at Deutsche Bank have become the latest experts to argue that AI will create more jobs than it destroys.
In a note examining the history of technological advancement, Deutsche Bank’s Henry Allen and Jim Reid investigate the historical response to technological breakthroughs.
Looking at long-term unemployment data, the analysts point out that changes in unemployment reflect economic cycles rather than technological waves.
“History tells us that technology does not create unemployment,” they wrote.
According to their figures, the UK’s unemployment rate is lower now than it was in 1755 despite the fact that “virtually all of the jobs of 1755 no longer exist”.
Although some jobs will be put at risk, Allen and Reid argue that on the whole AI will complement jobs as much as it replaces them.
They also suggest it is not surprising that there is widespread concern about the impact of AI as throughout history there have been many opponents to technological innovation. Way back in 1589, for example, Queen Elizabeth refused to grant the inventor of a mechanical knitting machine a patent in case it put manual knitters out of work.
While they admit that this time could be different, due to the speed of the change and the jobs it puts at risk, they argue the global economy “desperately need(s)” the productivity gains which AI can bring.
Many Western economies and the UK in particular have been struggling with sluggish productivity growth. Allen and Reid argue that the greater danger given this slow growth is the failure to embrace technological advances.
“The nature of the work we do will change, as it always has, but AI will ultimately create more jobs than it destroys,” they concluded.
The report follows shortly after research from Goldman Sachs which suggests that although 300m jobs globally could be put at risk from AI, it would boost global GDP by seven per cent over a decade.
The Goldman Sachs analysts also argued that AI would complement as many jobs as it would replace.