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The age of AI requires inequality insurance more than ever before
By Robert J. Shiller, Ian Ayres, Aaron Edlin  |  Jan 11, 2024
The age of AI requires inequality insurance more than ever before
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Rising inequality has become more visible and more of a political flashpoint in recent years. AI may conceivably help reduce the gap between the haves and have-nots, but it might also make matters worse, which is why some form of inequality insurance is more important than ever.

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT & BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA - European Union lawmakers recently reached a provisional agreement on a landmark regulation to mitigate the risks artificial intelligence (AI) poses to humanity. Other countries outside the EU seem ready to follow the bloc’s lead but, unfortunately, the EU’s AI Act does not address one of the greatest potential AI-induced disasters - the prospect of mass unemployment and sharply increased income inequality. 

Even the best and most well-intentioned regulation cannot fully eliminate these risks without precluding the world from enjoying AI’s benefits, namely dramatic increases in productivity, and enormous wealth creation. That is why policymakers must also enact policies to compensate those affected if these disasters occur.

To be clear, none of the authors of this article are opposed to regulating AI, but just as people take a two-pronged approach to protecting flood-vulnerable homes - building sea walls and providing flood insurance - so, too, must governments offer inequality insurance to ensure AI does not widen the wealth gap. While future administrations could conceivably change the terms of such a program, cutting back on widely experienced benefits would be politically difficult.

The writing is already on the wall. Last year, Hollywood actors joined screenwriters in the first 

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