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How automation could endanger capitalism

Jens Meyer / AP

Many technologists and futurists are concerned about how artificial intelligence and automation will affect capitalism, according to a survey of more than 1,400 experts released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.

What they found: "The trajectory of technology will overwhelm labor markets, killing more jobs than it creates," said 30 percent of those polled. But 70 percent of people were more optimistic, saying that the overall benefits of coming automation would outweigh the costs, while still expressing concerns that the costs will be high.

Why they're pessimistic: The experts argued that the coming wave of technological progress will revolutionize the economy in ways previous productivity booms haven't. They worry that even as society gets richer as a result, the social dislocations caused by too much leisure time and rising wealth inequality could be devastating.