Opinion | Why A.I. Might Not Take Your Job or Supercharge the Economy

Produced by ‘The Ezra Klein Show’

Typically when we put out a call for audience questions, there’s no single topic that dominates. This time was different. The questions we received were overwhelmingly focused on artificial intelligence: Do A.I. systems pose an existential threat to humanity? Will robots take our jobs? How could these machines potentially make our lives — and the lives of our children — better?

[You can listen to this episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

So I asked the show’s senior editor, Roge Karma, to join me to talk through them. We also discuss my mixed feelings about the calls to “pause” A.I. development, why I’m less worried about rogue A.I. systems than the incentives of the companies and countries developing A.I., the need for a “public vision” for A.I. development, whether A.I. companions can help address widespread loneliness, why I’m skeptical that A.I. advances will lead to skyrocketing economic productivity, the possibility that A.I. advances will lead to a post-work utopia, why I think of A.I. less as a normal technology and more as a “hyper object,” what A.I. systems are unveiling about what it means to be human and more.

You can listen to our whole conversation by following “The Ezra Klein Show” on Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts. View a list of book recommendations from our guests here.

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Roge Karma, Kristin Lin and Jeff Geld. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris and Kate Sinclair. Mixing by Jeff Geld. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Sonia Herrero and Kristina Samulewski.

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