21st CENTURY QUESTIONS: Can Chat GPT3 Make Pennsylvania a Red State?
Microsoft has already pledged $10 billion to optimize Chat GPT3 toward profitability. Tens of billions more dollars are coming.
The last time policymakers were presented with displacement on this scale was the globalization that decimated the American working class. The solution for Pennsylvania policymakers was to pivot the state’s economy to “Eds and Meds,” which now constitute 44% of total employment.
Those industries were chosen because spending is generated predominantly by the government, which is historically stable. To quote Ronald Reagan, “Government programs, once launched, never disappear.” Pennsylvania policymakers knew that they were making safe bets as those markets would almost always exist.
The pivot worked, with Pennsylvania stabilizing its population decline. Communities able to make the pivot, particularly in the suburbs, saw prosperity.
Once reliably Republican, the suburban voters employed by “Eds and Meds” now constitute the Democratic Party’s base. The rise of conservative populism, which pointed the finger at college-educated elites for the decline of the working class, accelerated the trend.
The reticence of suburban elites to choose Republican candidates is understandable, considering some in the GOP’s working-class base label them the enemy. For many in the working class, the contempt is personal, as they perceive the college-educated as having enriched themselves at their expense, via globalization.
But generative artificial intelligence is poised to inflict the same level of economic devastation on suburban elites as suffered by the working class through globalization. Some elites will undoubtedly find sure footing in the pending economy created by generative artificial intelligence. But many others will not.
As Glenn wrote at his Substack, “Famous writers and artists may be brands, unique enough not to be replaced by machine intelligence. But most writers and artists aren’t famous, and aren’t brands, and are hired simply to do a good enough job, cheaply enough, to meet client needs. When machines can do the job as well or better for less money, they’ll be out of work. Well, this is all good news for plumbers and auto mechanics. Their jobs are safe unless and until they can be replaced by actual robots, something that’s much further away. It’s just a lot more difficult to manipulate atoms than bits.”