We examine whether substantial AI automation could accelerate global economic growth by about an order of magnitude, akin to the economic growth effects of the Industrial Revolution. We identify three primary drivers for such growth: 1) the scalability of an AI labor force restoring a regime of increasing returns to scale, 2) the rapid expansion of an AI labor force, and 3) a massive increase in output from rapid automation occurring over a brief period of time. Against this backdrop, we evaluate nine counterarguments, including regulatory hurdles, production bottlenecks, alignment issues, and the pace of automation. We tentatively assess these arguments, finding most are unlikely deciders. We conclude that explosive growth seems plausible with AI capable of broadly substituting for human labor, but high confidence in this claim seems currently unwarranted. Key questions remain about the intensity of regulatory responses to AI, physical bottlenecks in production, the economic value of superhuman abilities, and the rate at which AI automation could occur.
See also: Sam Hammond’s critical discussion.
And note that those most bullish on explosive growth typically only put it at 1/3 before 2100.