Rethinking the Luddites in the Age of A.I. I’ve been staying way clear of comparisons to Luddites in conversations about the potential harmful impacts of modern AI tools, because it seemed to me like an offensive, unproductive cheap shot.
This article has shown me that the comparison is actually a lot more relevant—and sympathetic—than I had realized.
In a time before labor unions, the Luddites represented an early example of a worker movement that tried to stand up for their rights in the face of transformational, negative change to their specific way of life.
“Knitting machines known as lace frames allowed one employee to do the work of many without the skill set usually required” is a really striking parallel to what’s starting to happen with a surprising array of modern professions already.
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