Key point: In a new book about how technology will affect workers, MIT experts explain how artificial intelligence is far from replacing humans — but still changing most occupations.
Original authors and publication date: David Autor, David A. Mindell, and Elisabeth B. Reynolds – January 31, 2022
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: If the future of AI is the future of work, then the future of work is no longer human. Will then humans still have a future, perhaps a better one?
From the article:
Amid widespread anxiety about automation and machines displacing workers, the idea that technological advances aren’t necessarily driving us toward a jobless future is good news.
At the same time, “many in our country are failing to thrive in a labor market that generates plenty of jobs but little economic security,” MIT professors David Autor and David Mindell and principal research scientist Elisabeth Reynolds write in their new book “The Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines.”
The authors lay out findings from their work chairing the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future, which MIT president L. Rafael Reif commissioned in 2018. The task force was charged with understanding the relationships between emerging technologies and work, helping shape realistic expectations of technology, and exploring strategies for a future of shared prosperity. Autor, Mindell, and Reynolds worked with 20 faculty members and 20 graduate students who contributed research.
Beyond looking at labor markets and job growth and how technologies and innovation affect workers, the task force makes several recommendations for how employers, schools, and the government should think about the way forward. These include investing and innovating in skills and training, improving job quality, including modernizing unemployment insurance and labor laws, and enhancing and shaping innovation by increasing federal research and development spending, rebalancing taxes on capital and labor, and applying corporate income taxes equally.
The first step toward preparing for the future is understanding emerging technologies.
In the following excerpt, Autor, an economist, Mindell, a professor of aeronautics, and Reynolds, now the special assistant to the president for manufacturing and economic development, look at artificial intelligence, which is at the heart of both concern and excitement about the future of work. Understanding its capabilities and limitations is essential — especially if, as the authors write, “The future of AI is the future of work.”