“Horizons” Growth, Population Growth, and A.I. Growth
Headline: “Slowing population growth raises questions about America as a land with unlimited horizons.”
This suggests that a continuing high rate of growth in population is a good thing. But horizons are not limited by slow population growth. They are limited by how much land there is, how extensive our natural resources are, and how urgent our need is to reduce environmental degradation. More people equals more crowdedness, more greenhouse emissions, and more nature being crowded out. Horizons shrink as the number of people grows. Humanity’s welfare and chances of longterm survival depend in substantial part on the degree we are able to temper population growth. A few months ago, I read that there would be increasingly high unemployment as A.I devices become more and more capable of performing work done by humans. Lately, the main concern seems to be the opposite: that the labor force won’t grow enough to keep pace with goals for ever increasing economic growth. I think the best course is to adopt a low population-growth policy and avoid labor shortages by pursuing an aggressive A.I. development policy.