Question: Why is society/media so paranoid about AI replacing jobs or taking over humanity, when similar technologies like electricity have brought out phenomenal progress despite their dangers?
Answer: You are right of course. Why should we stop progress when automated production could produce all we need much more effectively, probably more cheaply as well.
The problem is not really about the production side of things, not even AI exterminating us as in the Terminator movies. The problem – a very serious one – is what to do the billions of people who will inevitably become unemployed as a result of automation and the because of the worsening global crisis that will reduce our artificial, unnatural production/consumption to natural levels according the laws of the Natural system we exist in.
A Human being can remain “Human” only as long as one feels oneself as a useful, productive, creative part of the integrated system of society. We already have vast amount of research, experience how people sink onto an instinctive, dumbed down, “animate” level when they lose such useful, mutually complementing contribution to society in unemployment.
And no amount of “monetary benefit”, easily digested, brainless “circus and bread” entertainment can replace,substitute that useful, mutually complementing contribution.
Thus we urgently need to figure out what to do – apart from killing them through wars, induced plagues, providing freely available drugs, alcohol, and promoting lifestyle, sexual practices that stop offsprings – with the masses of people who will lose their regular jobs.
The first stop of this process needs to be a unique, Human education helping us understand what this integral, interdependent system we live in, what makes us Human and how we can reach and maintain this Human degree regardless of what we do with our hands and legs.