Productivity growth has been falling or stagnating for the last couple of decades.

Everyone seems surprised.  (Well pundits, journalists and politicians do!)

I’m not!

The growth referred to above was mostly in the manufacturing sector – where productivity growth is relatively easy to accomplish … especially with the help of new technologies.

But most developed nations over the last few decades have moved from manufacturing to service industries.  It is much harder to make significant gains in productivity in the service sector and so productivty growth has declined.

Logical – not surprising.

Will AI (as a technology with obvious applications and implications for the service sector) give us the productivity boost we seek?

It might …. but whether we can cope with those gains is questionable.

Will the wealth gains be shared amongst the already rich – leaving the rest of us with no jobs, no wealth and no hope.  I’m not sure …. but the fact that the application of AI is largely in the hands of the already super-rich, doesn’t fill me with confidence.