YOU have multiple jobs, whether you know it or not. Most begin first thing in the morning, when you pick up your phone and begin generating the data that make up Silicon Valley’s most important resource. That, at least, is how we ought to think about the role of data-creation in the economy, according to a fascinating new economics paper. We are all digital labourers, helping make possible the fortunes generated by firms like Google and Facebook, the authors argue. If the economy is to function properly in the future—and if a crisis of technological unemployment is to be avoided—we must take account of this, and change the relationship between big internet companies and their users.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is getting better all the time, and stands poised to transform a host of industries, say the authors (Imanol Arrieta Ibarra and Diego Jiménez Hernández, of Stanford University, Leonard Goff, of Columbia University, and Jaron Lanier and Glen Weyl, of Microsoft). But, in order to learn…Continue reading