Who Owns the Robots?

This is my first article published in a magazine. It originally appeared in YES! Magazine on Friday (and was tweeted by Ralph Nader this weekend). Then yesterday, it got picked up by AlterNet and featured on their homepage.

The focus is on addressing the threat of technological unemployment (the large-scale loss of jobs to automation) by expanding who ‘owns the robots’ — i.e. who owns the companies that are doing the automating. And by automating, I include robots for blue-collar work and artificial intelligence for white-collar work.

What this piece gets into is a novel approach called “platform cooperatives,” which is what would happen were Uber or Airbnb to be owned by its users.

Please have a look. And if you’re so inclined, please pass it along to folks you think are also concerned about the growing concentration of wealth and the prospects of it worsening as the engine of automation turns faster and faster.

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Extractive Capitalism

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