In Project Syndicate, Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Harvard University, notes that "worldwide, technological change could easily lead to the loss of 5-10 million jobs each year. Fortunately, until now, market economies have proved stunningly flexible in absorbing the impact of these changes." What's fascinating is insight on the world of chess players that, rather than fade out and die since the advent of computer, now has "far more people making a living as professional chess players than ever before."
A peculiar but perhaps instructive example comes from the world of professional chess. Back in the 1970's and 1980's, many feared that players would become obsolete if and when computers could play chess better than humans. Finally, in 1997, the IBM computer Deep Blue defeated world chess champion Gary Kasparov in a short match. Soon, potential chess sponsors began to balk at paying millions of dollars to host championship matches between humans. Isn't the computer world champion, they asked?
Today, the top few players still earn a very good living, but less than at the peak. Meanwhile, in real (inflation-adjusted) terms, second-tier players earn much less money from tournaments and exhibitions than they did in the 1970's.
Nevertheless, a curious thing has happened: far more people make a living as professional chess players today than ever before. Thanks partly to the availability of computer programs and online matches, there has been a mini-boom in chess interest among young people in many countries.
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