Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Governor Bank of Canada Responds To My "Futures" Questions

Stephen Poloz, Governor of the Bank of Canada, was in Oshawa this morning to deliver an interesting talk about the history of Canada's Economic Growth. He took questions following his presentation and my question having to do with job losses to robotics and jobs being increasingly defined as part time, contract, and casual, questions pertinent to this site, starts at minute 43.

In response to my question, the governor suggested that replacement of workers by machinery has historically created more jobs which is true...but, there was no opportunity for a follow up question that might have directed the governor's attention to:
  • Historical fact may have little significance for the future since we have never before produced machines with AI (artificial intelligence) with many humanoid features that allow state-of-the art computer/robotics to paint pictures, write software, poetry and music, understand and respond to the spoken word, have thinking and abstract analytic abilities to defeat the world's greatest chess champion, slaughter record setting jeopardy champs, diagnose medical conditions, design prescriptive drugs, fix disease causing DNA defects, design and "print" buildings, furnishings and tools, and accomplish any myriad of abstract tasks, etc. and with these abilities, do jobs now done by humans.

  • When machines will do most of the work in perhaps 20-30 years at the present rate of change, what policy steps would he recommend to the government now in preparation for transition to a future world of little work.  The governor's answer that history following the industrial revolution up until the 40's and 50's may have been quite accurate in that slow changing world but is less relevant in our far less predictable space-age rapidly changing world.
Unfortunately the Governor did not touch on the topic of precarious part time, contract, and casual employment that is growing twice as fast as full time work according to Statistics Canada reports.

All interesting questions of the kind discussed on this site.


Text of Governor's Address

Speech Summary - Oshawa  This Week

Low Interest Rates Needed To Help Canada Grow--Reuters

Governor Warns Against Protectionism - Globe and Mail

"Dust-Off" of NAFTA Welcomed---CBC

GTA's Hot Housing Market Fuelled by Strong Economy But Growing Debt A Concern---CBC

Bank of Canada Governor Speeches

Stephen Poloz, Governor, Bank of Canada backgrounder

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