Human Dignity, AI & The Right to Work

Aaina Agarwal

Introduction

The goal of this paper is to explore the potential for artificial intelligence (“AI”) to enhance the relationship between human dignity and work. Achieving better outcomes for work in the automated world is ultimately a matter of people being able to access the new kinds of opportunities that are poised to create economic value in the age of AI. As AI increases in its ability to cognify tasks, many of the jobs that people perform today will no longer be required. This initially sounds frightening — and indeed, there are many complexities to be managed. However, what I find much more compelling is the potential of AI to create more dignified opportunities for work where existing market conditions have failed.

I. A Portrait of Dignity

The idea of human dignity has a long tradition of being used to ascribe a special value to human beings.[1] In his famous oration On the Dignity of Man, Renaissance philosopher Pico della Mirandola argued that the essence of our dignity is the “freedom of choice” to set the terms of our own lives.[2] The philosopher Immanuel Kant further established the idea of our dignity as an intrinsic worth that we possess by virtue of our capacity for moral reasoning.[3] No small matter, Kant thought this was a momentous capacity to think and act above our animal nature.[4] The emphasis here is on our capacity to be moral, rather than a measure of our actual moral behavior as the source of our dignity.[5] As we are speaking in terms of a shared capacity, dignity can be understood as a “status term,” which refers to our standing as people who command a high level of respect and concern.[6]

There are many ideas that deconstruct “why” we are entitled to this elevated status (a right to dignity) and those that extend dignity as “the source and ground of human rights.”[7] As such, dignity is used to convey both the status of human beings and the demand that status be respected, as put into practice by human rights discourse.[8] In the context of certain rights, their connection to furthering dignity is articulated directly. Article 22, Section 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) tells us that “Everyone has the right to work.” Section 3 goes on the elaborate that “everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity.[9] The questions that I explore in this paper are (i) what dignity intends to require of the right to work and (ii) how an AI-enabled economy could be positioned (and improve our position) to facilitate these demands.

To move forward on the question of what dignity requires (here, of work), we look back to a historical concept of dignitas that associated dignity with the relative position and status of humans who held a high rank — such as dukes, queens and warriors.[10] As the concept of our inherent dignity is used to establish rights, we might look to the rich associations of rank-based dignity to determine the actual content of these rights, with the purpose of extending “formerly high status treatment to all sectors of the population.”[11] Waldron pursues the idea that to understand what is meant by human dignity, it could be helpful to examine what privilege looked like in noble company, and then figure out how those experiences of privilege might be extended to apply to everyone through the provision of rights and liberties.[12] This process allows us to draw from rich associations of privilege — what experience did it guarantee, how was it felt, why was it valued — to create a standard of what dignity intends to offer everyone in modern society through rights. Under this construction, the right to work might be intended to approximate, for example, the agency to pursue a life of enjoyable experiences and purpose. In the history of our market-based economic system, work has fallen short of this promise for many different groups of people. This raises the question of what features work should have to support a quality of existence characterized by human dignity.

II. Market-Based Economies in a Data-Driven World

What distinguishes our current transition from an information economy to one that is augmented by AI from previous forms of technological progress is the unprecedented degree to which automation is developing to overtake entire areas of cognitive competency. Driven by AI, robots or computer processes can be imbued with the “intelligence” to understand the situation, assess a range of options based on a store of information, and then select the best action or response based on the probability of the best outcome.[13] As automated capabilities extend through advances in machine-based learning, AI will continue to replace many of today’s jobs.

This aspect of the labor challenge must be considered along with solving for the shadow existence that is happening for many people who remain in their jobs. Market conditions that have arisen in the larger context of today’s digital economy continue to support an array of unproductive jobs, which according to anthropologist David Graeber, reflect a “form of paid employment that is so completely pointless, unnecessary, or pernicious that even the employee cannot justify its existence.”[14] On paper, these jobs sound fantastic. And yet there are “scores of successful professionals… who nevertheless go home every evening, grumbling that their work serves no purpose.”[15] The dignitarian denial of these positions, many of which are highly paid, is that they engender a sense of uselessness that “gnaws at everything that makes a person human” and perpetuate an existence where people feel miserable all day.[16] Countless professionals spend their days feeling empty and dissatisfied with the “meaningless” quality of their work, which has major implications for the quality and character of their lives.[17] It may be because the character of the work is a combination of repetitive, isolating and limited in terms of adding value to a productive enterprise, in addition to leaving the employee with little time or energy to use the job as a means for more rewarding pursuits.

On yet another dimension somewhere between the experience of unemployment and unproductive, full-time jobs, is the rise of the “precariat,” a shifting mass of chronically insecure people who do not know whether they will have any work next week and may never have a stable job.[18] Precarious status leads to its own form of suffering, characterized by a potent mix of insecurity and being constantly required to put in an alarming amount of uncompensated work — including to interview, apply, and demonstrate competence to employers — to retain access to jobs and decent earnings. Without full-time jobs, precarious workers are unable to build their work history to reflect the quality of experience that is recognized and rewarded by the market, making it increasingly difficult for them to be considered for jobs in which they might otherwise have had the talent and potential to thrive. Author Johann Hari provides a compelling look at the effects of this precarious existence, which he describes as choking people off from a sense of a hopeful future. One woman he spoke with offers that “It completely takes away any sense of identity that you might have and replaces it with shame and worry and fear…What are you? I’m nothing. What are you?”[19]

That so many people identify with a chronic sense of fear and inadequacy is a painful reflection of the extent to which our current paradigm for work has failed us on dignitarian grounds. If we are to be ascribed a right to work in virtue our high-ranking dignity, it must intend for an existence much better than choosing between poverty and working jobs that we hate.[20] Although it is inevitable that AI will eliminate almost every aspect of work that has a repetitive or routine characteristic, this destruction comes with the potential to establish a system of work that distributes better outcomes for more people. If it is leveraged effectively, AI has the potential to support market conditions that offer an elevated range of opportunities — commensurate with our elevated dignitarian status — to perform more meaningful forms of work.

Experts have made it abundantly clear that the consequences of joblessness, or precarious access to work, result not just from a lack of resources but the “cumulative distress” surrounding the failure of life to turn out as expected, which boils down to a lack of platform for self-improvement and purposeful activity.[21] Yet on the other hand, we need to address how many people with impressive-seeming jobs are being also denied these same qualities of existence. This will require striving towards a technologically-augmented economy that can support and then translate more forms of real value creation into economic value. The hope is to rise beyond the current paradox in which “most people hate their jobs (but) are considerably more miserable doing nothing.”[22] In this way, we might not only avoid disaster but nurture a better set of opportunities for everyone to experience dignity through work.

III. Moving Beyond Money: That We Should be Privileged to Strive

To address to immediate prospects of technological unemployment, the idea of a “universal basic income” (UBI) has picked up steam. The concept of UBI gains political ground the more that the hope of being able to share in the economic opportunity of the AI-enabled, data-driven economy seems out of reach.[23] Opponents view it as a capitulating to the existing patterns of the market, which would exacerbate the trend towards dwindling economic opportunities instead of moving us towards a new economic paradigm.[24] This fear is positioned against the hope that UBI would provide people with a supplement — to improve their heath and mobility, along with the means to learn technical skills and start new ventures — to jumpstart the ability to participate in the new economy in the age of AI. I find merit in this latter position, which looks to UBI not as a form of reparation for jobs lost but a vehicle to redefine and give everyone the chance to do meaningful work. Here we might look to implement a system of UBI in tandem with other policies that support the ability to participate in new markets and that reposition people within the loop of their commercial value.

Ultimately, people must be able to work for reasons much deeper than money. The essential despair of unemployment cannot be mitigated by through non-work, even if we can lessen its burden by providing social support through welfare or UBI. In 1930, the famous economist John Maynard Keynes foretold a world of machine-enabled production leading to “technological unemployment,” which he defined as “unemployment due to our discovery of means of economizing the use of labor outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for labor.”[25] His prognosis was that after a phase of maladjustment we will ultimately find ourselves no longer required to work out of economic necessity. Keynes’ conception of this paradise is one in which our primary concern is how to use our “freedom from pressing economic cares” to occupy leisure. [26]

However, there are a few dark clouds hanging over this utopia. Even if our society is wealthy enough to keep people above poverty by redistributing its collective wealth, it is illogical to think that people could be content without opportunities to strive or exert effort for rewards. A system that provides income without industry is not sufficient to negotiate the economic challenges of AI because it fails to address the nature and value of “effort.” In The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt takes the position that there is no lasting happiness outside of the cycle of toil and reward, stating that anything that throws this cycle out of balance, including “an effortless life of consumption without exhaustion, grinds an impotent human body mercilessly and barrenly to death.”[27] In her writing, she makes certain to distinguish the true happiness derived from participating in this cycle from “spells of joy” that may follow after we procure an advantage or establish property.[28] I think it is important to look further into what Arendt means by effort, as it relates to the idea of necessity. Can we experience effort and ultimately lasting happiness without a corresponding feeling of necessity? My genuine sense of the matter is no, although I believe that necessity is relative and can be felt in many ways.

In this context, I am not speaking of “necessity” as it is uniquely felt in the struggle for survival, assuming for the moment that those needs are being met. On a higher order, “necessity” might be felt as the desire to accumulate wealth, contribute beauty, elevate social standing, build communities or raise decent and capable children. The key is acting from a sense of something that does not yet exist that we feel compelled to bring about. I thus agree with Arendt’s position that effort bound to necessity is what makes the vitality of life felt, in contrast to what for humans would be “the easy and lifeless life” of the gods.[29] Perhaps Shakespeare most elegantly captured the complex but essential nature of this condition in Troilus and Cressida when Cressida observes to herself that she is reluctant to make her love for Troilus a condition known, because “Things won are done, joy’s soul lies in the doing/ That she beloved knows nought that knows not this.”[30] Her reflection is that if she makes her love for Troilus known, she will lose the position of power she holds as an object of desire. So too does desire exert a power over us, without which we would be alienated from the vitality and liveliness that can only be conserved to the extent we are “willing to take the toil of life” upon ourselves.[31] Such vitality arguably takes on a more luminous quality when it is abstracted from pre-occupation with food and shelter but still qualified by virtue of necessity.

Keynes’ position that we have been “trained” too long to strive instead of enjoy attempts to dismiss a human drive that we have exhibited throughout history as market-based adaptation, when in reality aristocrats, nobles and even popes and kings schemed constantly to elevate their stature relative to where they stood. While they did not want for economic or social comforts, they still strove to build upon the existing condition of their position, dynasty or empire. That they were in a position to strive for these accomplishments was undoubtedly a privilege of their rank. History holds the highest position not for the men of power who sat back, but those who led their men into battle or risked the status quo to do more. The dignity of the high-ranking man entitled him to an experience of life much larger and more rewarding than being lavishly and leisurely kept. Bringing this entitlement to everyone similarly requires opportunities to establish and pursue a higher order of “needs.”

IV. The Dignitarian Potential of AI: Creative Opportunity

The optimistic outlook on AI is that it offers an unprecedented opportunity to scale the creative potential of humanity that we unleashed by freeing ourselves from farming and factory work.[32] Why should creative work be held up as a standard of human dignity? I would argue that as a necessary condition for people to experience a felt sense of dignity — that is, a subjective sense of their own autonomy and self-worth — that their work must reflect a feeling of having contributed something of one’s own creation.[33] I do not speak here of creativity in the sense that it is colloquially understood to apply only to artists and musicians, but rather an innate quality within each of us that is derived from our personal responsibility to realize life on our own terms and extends the notion of creativity as a “call to create.” Ronald Dworkin characterizes personal responsibility as a demand of dignity that entitles us to exercise our own judgment in deciding how we want to live, free from subordination.[34] Framed in terms of liberty, Dworkin’s personal responsibility (and its attendant “call to create”) could also be characterized as an aspect of the dignitas that was associated nobility and sought to be approximated through the right to work. We are denied the creative experience of personal responsibility when forced to perform certain roles, which fail to produce a satisfying enactment of our call to create.

Whenever one sort of task can be automated, others that cannot be automated come into view. The quintessentially human activities that remain as our current understanding of work becomes increasingly automated could be structured to provide new forms of value, by which the humans provide critical judgment, machines the labor power. For example, working within a set of parameters, a sophisticated AI can virtually render thousands of design possibilities for a product. However, its economic potential is only enabled working together with humans, who dictate the parameters of the design using their judgment and understanding of our goals for the product in relevant social context. In this way, AI can enhance our opportunities for creativity. In his essay On The New Dignity of Labour, Barry King writes that “the most significant misrepresentation driving ‘creative labour’ is the idea of ‘inherent’ talent, which tends to obscure the fact that such labour is highly dependent on the possession of appropriate technology and the capital to exploit it.”[35]

At its best, human-machine partnership though automation offers us an opportunity to leverage our creativity and its productive outcome, to not only perform better work but also to solve for challenges that have eluded human reasoning alone. Things that were “electrified” through the industrial revolution — for example a car that with the turn of a key could run the power of two-hundred and fifty horses — are becoming “cognified” in the age of AI.[36] Whereas humans have a horizontal intelligence — comprised of multiple categories of intelligence (i.e., deductive reasoning and emotional intelligence) that are held together and to varying degrees — AI builds extreme vertical competency in one area, which thus complements the varied quality of human thinking with a new form of intelligence.[37]

Of course, new opportunities will remain out of reach for many people without enabling conditions, the least of which require education systems that are designed to nurture children towards their potential as capable and limitless creative beings. The AI optimist scenario assumes an education system that is capable of encouraging children “to think critically and creatively.”[38] These requirements can be understood for how they parallel aspects of noble upbringing that reinforced dignity as a matter of course. In his response to Waldron’s essay on Dignity, Rank, and Rights, Herzog points out that aristocratic dignity was not so much a matter of an official role as it followed a person in everything he did.[39] Waldron himself alludes to this quality when he states that respect for a man of rank was a “diffuse deference owed to the whole person” that was extended to him in every instance.[40] What is important to draw from here is the care that was demonstrated to build a certain capacity throughout a nobleman’s life: he was educated with patience and dedication and challenged to build a variety of skills. He was constantly encouraged throughout this process, which altogether left him with the unshakeable impression that he was a man worth something very special, indeed. If partnership with AI can offer creative work-based opportunities befitting of our dignity, then social institutions must work alongside AI to ensure that people develop in possession of their dignity, such that they are positioned to take advantage of these opportunities.

As AI deconstructs certain jobs into tasks and automates their allocation, it will also increase the demand and economic opportunity for people who have the skills to manage and work with the AI. Shared success under this new economic formula requires more people that have developed the best of their uniquely human capacities to execute on the input that drives the AI. I believe that at the most fundamental level, developing these capacities requires institutions that encourage people in possession of their dignitarian assignment of Dworkin’s “personal responsibility” — which in turn activates the innate human call to create. AI’s potential to create opportunities for work through human-machine partnership will require training people to have the courage and initiative to make it happen.

V. Equalizing Access Through the Convergence of Blockchain and AI

Another potential for AI is its relationship to self-governing organizations that are enabled through blockchain technology, known as “decentralized autonomous organizations” (DAOs). These platforms operate without a management structure or employees and spread ownership amongst (thousands of) stakeholders who purchase tokens, which also give them voting rights to execute on the platform’s funding decisions. DAOs manage themselves using “smart contracts” — which are agreements written in software code that contain rules regarding their execution.[41]

One example of a DAO is a ride-sharing platform that would allow drivers to bypass working for a company like Uber in favor of organizing themselves into a collective form of ownership by contributing sweat — such as giving rides, or improving the platform’s design — in exchange for equity. Although Uber is currently valued at $72 billion, its drivers report feeling “less like humans and more like robots,” in addition to the fact that as contract workers they do not share in the upside of equity ownership like those who run the company. Advances in AI can make block-chain technology more efficient, reducing structural constraints and allowing for faster transactions and better scalability that support the development of DAOs. As block-chain evolves to expand decentralized infrastructure at the expense of incumbents like Uber, it has the potential to expunge the hierarchical cycles of ownership that perpetuate income inequality in favor of more egalitarian forms of value creation based on collective ownership.

Highlighting this potential is the magnitude of income inequality that has developed in the context of our present-day economic configuration. In One Another’s Equals: The Basis of Human Equality, Waldron argues that while equal human worth supports the results of our merit-based differences, it also limits the extent to which we can differentiate those rewards; as such, “We are not allowed to offer the reward of the entire wealth of the community in a winner-takes-all sort of arrangement…for that would be incompatible with a general concern for the human worth of the other members of society.”[42] Yet increasingly, instead of society sharing in conscionable proportion to its wealth, company profits are split amongst shareholders at the top who do not feed the bulk of this prosperity back into the system to grow the economy, reflecting outcomes that amount to “winner-take-all.”

In his book, Who Owns the Future, computer scientist Jaron Lanier writes that “winner-take-all” distributions are becoming more common due to the global sorting of people within a single framework that limits the criterion for success.[43] These outcomes result in the context of powerful central networks, which gather massive amounts of data from which they derive market insights that advance their (increasingly monopolistic) positions. In his 2018 report prepared as the as UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty, Phillip Alston notes that while the United States is “one of the world’s wealthiest societies and a land of unsurpassed technological innovation […] there is a dramatic contrast between the immense wealth of the few and the squalor and deprivation in which vast numbers of Americans exist.”[44] He mentions the consistently growing share of the top 1%, who in 2016 owned approximately 40% of the nation’s wealth, in contrast to the 40 million people that live in poverty.[45]

There is perhaps something in these statistics that would cause most of us to “tremble,” upon Kant’s observation, at the sense of something that violates the basic demands of our shared humanity that are intended to accrue equally to every human being irrespective of what he or she has done.[46] This trembling should become even more violent if we take the view that a person’s capacities for hard work and socially rewarded forms of intelligence are not, unlike his dignity innate, and beyond price, but are to the contrary positioned by luck and birth. Alston further characterizes the extent of the inequality that has become a defining feature of the American economy with his finding that “high child and youth poverty rates perpetuate the intergenerational transmission of poverty very effectively and ensure that the American dream is rapidly becoming the American illusion.”[47]

The good news, however, is that we are at just at the beginning of transitioning towards the augmented age that will be defined by entirely new and enhanced capabilities to solve for dignity through work. Lanier’s position is that to establish a growing and humanistic information based economy, we need to find ways to pay people for the value that they are currently contributing off the books to the machinations of today’s central network systems.[48] To that end, the potential for blockchain provides one example of how AI-enabled infrastructure might reverse the outsized distribution of the “winner-takes-all” arrangements that fail to mediate the demands of our high-ranking, equal human worth.

Conclusion

In building alongside the transformative capabilities of AI, we have an unprecedented opportunity to make dignified labor conditions available to more people than ever before. There is an opportunity here to put the work of the ivory tower, which concerns itself with what the demands of dignity ought to entail, into practice on the ground floor. If it is within the technological capability of a society to provide greater access to meaningful opportunities to work, then it is a requirement of our human dignity to implement the conditions that will bring about these opportunities. Taken as such, the content of our actual right to work based on human dignity would require us to prioritize policies that respond to full potential of AI, rather than reacting to mediate its immediate consequences in the short-term. AI optimists are going long on the potential for creative destruction to provide us with a better character of economic opportunities. With a little luck and a lot of thoughtful work, I believe this process can be coded to optimize the demands of our human dignity as well.

[1] See e.g., Michael Pirson, Kenneth Goodpaster * Claus Dierksmeier, Human Dignity and Business, Business Ethics Quarterly, 26(4): 467 (2016).

[2] Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Oration on the Dignity of Man (1486), accessed at https://brians.wsu.edu/2016/11/14/pico-della-mirandola-oration-on-the-dignity-of-man-15th-c-ce/.

[3] See generally, Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Chapter 2 (1785).

[4] Jeremy Waldron, One Another’s Equals: The Basis of Human Equality 100 (2017).

[5] See e.g., Pirson et al., supra note 1 at 468.

[6] Waldron, One Another’s Equals, supra note 4 at 3.

[7] Jeremy Waldron, Dignity and Rank: In Memory of Gregory Vlastos, 2 Archives Europénnes De Sociologique 201, 203 (2007).

[8] Id. at 205.

[9] See Universal Declaration of Human Rights, December 10, 1948, U.N. G.A. Res. 217 A (III), art. 22.

[10] See Waldron, Dignity and Rank, supra note 7 at 222.

[11] Id. at 221–2.

[12] Id. at 229.

[13] See Ilan Sade, Big Data is Back in Fashion as Fuel for AI, Pipeline 14(3) (September, 2017), https://www.pipelinepub.com/big-data-analytics/AI_big_data

[14] Author Nathan Heller cites to Graeber’s position, which he summarizes to indicate that the logic that supports these economically superfluous jobs is not straightforward and amounts to a “complex tangle of economics and organizational politics motivated by the will to competitive status.” See Nathan Heller, The Bullshit-Job Boom, The New Yorker (June 7, 2018), https://www.newyorker.com/books/under-review/the-bullshit-job-boom.

[15] Rutger Bregman, A Growing Number of People Think Their Job is Useless. Time to Rethink the Meaning of Work, world Economic Forum Agenda (Apr. 12, 2017), https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/04/why-its-time-to-rethink-the-meaning-of-work/

[16] See id.

[17] See David Graeber, On The Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs: A Work Rant, Strike! Magazine, (3) (August 2013), http://strikemag.org/bullshit-jobs/.

[18]See Johann Hari, Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression — and the Unexpected Solutions 141 (Bloomsbury, 2018).

[19] Id. at 140.

[20] Waldron, Dignity and Rank, supra note 7 at 216 (“when we attribute rights by people in virtue of their dignity, we do so on account of some rank we hold them to have”).

[21] See Case & Deaton, supra note 19.

[22]See Thompson, supra note 13.

[23] See Daniel Zamora, The Case Against a Basic Income, Jacobin (Dec. 28, 2017), https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/12/universal-basic-income-inequality-work (translated by Jeff Bate Boerop).

[24] 95% of the new jobs created between 2005–2015 were contract or temp jobs. See Harris & Yang, supra note 16.

[25] See John Maynard Keynes, Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren in Essays on Persuasion 358, 360 (W.V. Norton & Co, 1963)(originally written in 1930).

[26] Id. at 362.

[27] See Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition 107 (The University of Chicago Press, 1958).

[28] Marx was also “almost exclusively interested in the process” of labor as the mode of the life force, according to Arendt, who draws on several of his principle in characterizing her own theory of labor but ultimately dismisses his writing for its “flagrant contradictions” (104) and justifiably so. Arendt points out that while Marx consistently extols the virtue of labor as the most human and productive of man’s activities, his vision of a free society is one in which this “greatest and most human power” is no longer necessary, leaving us with the choice only between productive slavery and unproductive freedom (105). See id. at 104–5. I mention Marx primarily to separate his and other similarly socialist end-goals from the ideas that I am discussing here, although they may offer helpful illustrations at points on the absolute value of labor as represented by effort).

[29] Arendt, supra note 35 at 120.

[30] Troilus and Cressida, Act 1 Scene 2, lines 226–7.

[31] Arendt, supra note 35 at 121.

[32] Sebastian Thrun & Chris Anderson. “What AI is — and Isn’t.” TED. April 2017. Lecture. Source: https://www.ted.com/talks/sebastian_thrun_and_chris_anderson_the_new_generation_of_computers_is_programming_itself#t-765143.

[33] See John Paul Stephen & Jason Kanov, Stories as Artworks: Giving Form to Felt Dignity in Connections at Work, 144 J. Bus. Ethics 235 (2017) (defining “felt dignity” as the subjective sense people have of their own autonomy and self-worth and that which emerges from and is most evident in the connective space between people).

[34] See generally Ronald Dworkin, Is Democracy Possible Here? Principles for a New Political Debate, Chapter 1 (Princeton University Press, 2006). It is an open question as to whether Dworkin was framing this principle of human dignity as something required of a man or as something he is entitled to. My guess is that it registers as a categorical imperative for those who have access to social conditions that enable personal responsibility, and a dignitarian entitlement to demand access to such conditions, for those so denied.

[35] See Barry King, On the New Dignity of Labour, ephemera 10(3/4): 285, 293 (2010).

[36] Kevin Kelly. “How AI Can Bring On A Second Industrial Revolution” TED. June 2016. Lecture. Source: https://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_kelly_how_ai_can_bring_on_a_second_industrial_revolution#t-812049. Kelly’s analogizes the coming of AI to a second industrial revolution, noting that while the “first” industrial revolution was based on the invention of artificial power, the second will be based on artificial intelligence.

[37] Id.

[38] See Marcos Lima, No, Artificial Intelligence Won’t Steal Your Children’s Jobs — It Will Make Them More Creative and Productive, The Conversation (Feb. 13, 2018), https://theconversation.com/no-artificial-intelligence-wont-steal-your-childrens-jobs-it-will-make-them-more-creative-and-productive-91672.

[39] See Michael Herzog, Aristocratic Dignity? in Dignity, Rank, and Rights 99, 108 (Meir Dan Cohen, ed. 2012).

[40] See Waldron, Dignity and Rank, supra note 7 at 223–4.

[41] See George Zarkadakis, Do Platforms Work?, aeon (May 28, 2018), https://aeon.co/essays/workers-of-the-world-unite-on-distributed-digital-platforms.

[42] See Waldron, One Another’s Equals, supra note 4, 170–71.

[43] See Jaron Lanier, Who Owns The Future? 40 (Simon & Schuster, 2013).

[44] See UN Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights on His Mission to the United States, Philip Alston, 4 May 2018, A/HRC/38/33/Add.1, available at http://undocs.org/A/HRC/38/33/ADD.1 [accessed 10 June 2018].

[45] Id.

[46] Here, Waldron’s take on Kant’s qualification of our awareness of our moral personality is that he believes “… we tremble when we detect, whether in ourselves or in somebody else, the presence of as a counter-causal capacity to act morally.” See Waldron, supra note 4 at 139. Later (150), Waldron asserts that our basic equality is so morally important as to demand that the benefit of human dignity “accrues equally to every human being, irrespective of what he or she has done or what he or she is responsible for.”

[47] See Alston, supra note 53.

[48] See Lanier, supra note 52 at 258.

Human rights lawyer focused on creating solutions for technology governance specializing in the responsible development and use of AI.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store