Is artificial intelligence about to put vast numbers of people out of a job? Most economists would argue the answer is no: If technology permanently puts people out of work then why, after centuries of new technologies, are there still so many jobs left? New technologies, they claim, make the economy more productive and allow people to enter new fields — like the shift from agriculture to manufacturing. For that reason, economists have historically shared a general view that whatever upheaval might be caused by technological change, it is “somewhere between benign and benevolent.”