Saturday, January 16, 2021

g-f(2)80 THE BIG PICTURE OF THE DIGITAL AGE, MIT, The Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines.


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MIT President L. Rafael Reif commissioned the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future in the spring of 2018. He tasked us with understanding the relationships between emerging technologies and work, to help shape public discourse around realistic expectations of technology, and to explore strategies to enable a future of shared prosperity. 
  • Three years ago, robots, artificial intelligence (AI), and self-driving cars seemed to be coming fast. A widely cited study projected nearly half of all jobs in industrialized countries could soon be performed by robots or AI.
  • In the two-and-a-half years since the Task Force set to work, autonomous vehicles, robotics, and AI have advanced remarkably. But the world has not been turned on its head by automation, nor has the labor market. 
  • In what should be a virtuous cycle, rising productivity provides society with the resources to invest in those whose livelihoods are disrupted by the changing structure of work.
  • The report, and the MIT Work of the Future Task Force, suggest a great alternative: building a future for work that harvests the dividends of rapidly advancing automation and ever-more powerful computers to deliver opportunity and economic security for workers. To channel the rising productivity stemming from technological innovations into broadly shared gains, we must foster institutional innovations that complement technological change.


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  • MIT President L. Rafael Reif commissioned the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future in the spring of 2018. He tasked us with understanding the relationships between emerging technologies and work, to help shape public discourse around realistic expectations of technology, and to explore strategies to enable a future of shared prosperity. 
    • The Task Force is co-chaired by this report’s authors: Professors David Autor and David Mindell and executive director Dr. Elisabeth Reynolds. Its members include more than 20 faculty members drawn from 12 departments at MIT, as well as over 20 graduate students.
  • Three years ago, robots, artificial intelligence (AI), and self-driving cars seemed to be coming fast. A widely cited study projected nearly half of all jobs in industrialized countries could soon be performed by robots or AI. A New Yorker cover published in late 2017 showed robots striding to work on a sidewalk where a disheveled human panhandler begged for coins. During the 2019 Super Bowl, six TV commercials featured robots or AI-enabled assistants. 
  • In the two-and-a-half years since the Task Force set to work, autonomous vehicles, robotics, and AI have advanced remarkably. But the world has not been turned on its head by automation, nor has the labor market. 
  • Despite massive private investment, technology deadlines have been pushed back, part of a normal evolution as breathless promises turn into pilot trials, business plans, and early deployments — the diligent, if prosaic, work of making real technologies work in real settings to meet the demands of hard-nosed customers and managers.
  • Yet, if our research did not confirm the dystopian vision of robots ushering workers off of factory floors or artificial intelligence rendering superfluous human expertise and judgment, it did uncover something equally pernicious: Amidst a technological ecosystem delivering rising productivity, and an economy generating plenty of jobs (at least until the COVID-19 crisis), we found a labor market in which the fruits are so unequally distributed, so skewed towards the top, that the majority of workers have tasted only a tiny morsel of a vast harvest.
  • History and economics show no intrinsic conflict among technological change, full employment, and rising earnings. The dynamic interplay among task automation, innovation, and new work creation, while always disruptive, is a primary wellspring of rising productivity.
  • Innovation improves the quantity, quality, and variety of work that a worker can accomplish in a given time. This rising productivity, in turn, enables improving living standards and the flourishing of human endeavors. 
  • Indeed, in what should be a virtuous cycle, rising productivity provides society with the resources to invest in those whose livelihoods are disrupted by the changing structure of work.
  • The report, and the MIT Work of the Future Task Force, suggest a great alternative: building a future for work that harvests the dividends of rapidly advancing automation and ever-more powerful computers to deliver opportunity and economic security for workers. To channel the rising productivity stemming from technological innovations into broadly shared gains, we must foster institutional innovations that complement technological change.

Category 2: The Big Picture of the Digital Age

[genioux fact produced, deduced or extracted from MIT]

Type of essential knowledge of this “genioux fact”: Essential Deduced and Extracted Knowledge (EDEK).

Type of validity of the "genioux fact". 

  • Inherited from sources + Supported by the knowledge of one or more experts + Supported by a research.


Authors of the genioux fact

Fernando Machuca


References




ABOUT THE AUTHORS


CO-CHAIR, MIT TASK FORCE ON THE WORK OF THE FUTURE
Ford Professor of Economics
Labor Studies Program Director, National Bureau of Economic Research

David Autor is Ford Professor of Economics and associate head of the MIT Department of Economics. His scholarship explores the labor market impacts of technological change and globalization, earnings inequality, and disability insurance and labor supply. Autor has received several awards for his scholarship, including the National Science Foundation Career Award; an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship; and the Sherwin Rosen Prize for outstanding contributions in the field of labor economics—and for his teaching, including MIT’s James A. and Ruth Levitan Award for excellence in teaching; the Undergraduate Economic Association Teaching Award; and the Faculty Appreciation Award from the MIT Technology and Policy Program. He was recognized by Bloomberg as one of the 50 people who defined global business in 2017. 



CO-CHAIR, MIT TASK FORCE ON THE WORK OF THE FUTURE
Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing
Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Founder and CEO, Humatics Corporation

David Mindell, an engineer and historian, is Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing at MIT. An expert in human relationships with robotics and autonomous systems, he has led or participated in more than 25 oceanographic expeditions. From 2005 to 2011, he was director of MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society. He is co-founder of Humatics Corporation, which develops technologies to transform how robots and autonomous systems work in human environments. Mindell has a BS in electrical engineering and BA in literature, both from Yale University, and a PhD in the history of technology from MIT.



EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MIT TASK FORCE ON THE WORK OF THE FUTURE
Principal Research Scientist
Executive Director, MIT Industrial Performance Center
Lecturer, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Elisabeth Reynolds is a principal research scientist and executive director of the MIT Industrial Performance Center, as well as a lecturer in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP). Her research examines systems of innovation and economic development more broadly with a focus on advanced manufacturing, growing innovative companies to scale, and building innovation capacity in developed and developing countries. Prior to coming to MIT, Reynolds was the director of the City Advisory Practice at the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), a non-profit focused on job and business growth in urban areas. She has been actively engaged in efforts to rebuild manufacturing capabilities in the U.S., most recently as a member of the Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative. She is a graduate of Harvard College and holds a Master’s in Economics from the University of Montreal as well as a PhD from MIT DUSP.

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