“At what point does the chain saw replace Paul Bunyan?”

The New York Time’s article “Skilled Work, Without the Worker” describe how robots in places like the Netherlands and California are starting to displace Chinese factories filled with low skilled workers. They write

The falling costs and growing sophistication of robots have touched off a renewed debate among economists and technologists over how quickly jobs will be lost. This year, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, made the case for a rapid transformation. “The pace and scale of this encroachment into human skills is relatively recent and has profound economic implications,” they wrote in their book, “Race Against the Machine.”

In a review of “Race Against the Machine”, Bill Jarvis writes

In “Race Against the Machine”, economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee ask the question: Could technology be destroying jobs? They then expand on that to explore whether advancing information technology might be an important contributor to the current unemployment disaster. The authors argue very convincingly that the answer to both questions is YES.

which reminds me of Robin Hanson’s paper “Economic Growth Given Machine Intelligence”.