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The wrong kind of AI? Artificial intelligence and the future of labour demand

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  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Pascual Restrepo

Abstract

Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to influence every aspect of our lives, not least the way production is organised. AI, as a technology platform, can automate tasks previously performed by labour or create new tasks and activities in which humans can be productively employed. Recent technological change has been biased towards automation, with insufficient focus on creating new tasks where labour can be productively employed. The consequences of this choice have been stagnating labour demand, declining labour share in national income, rising inequality and lowering productivity growth. The current tendency is to develop AI in the direction of further automation, but this might mean missing out on the promise of the ‘right’ kind of AI, with better economic and social outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo, 2020. "The wrong kind of AI? Artificial intelligence and the future of labour demand," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 13(1), pages 25-35.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cjrecs:v:13:y:2020:i:1:p:25-35.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cjres/rsz022
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Wrong Kind of AI? Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Labor Demand
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2019-05-14 14:30:41

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Judith Clifton & Amy Glasmeier & Mia Gray, 2020. "When machines think for us: the consequences for work and place," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 13(1), pages 3-23.
    2. Anton Korinek, 2019. "Integrating Ethical Values and Economic Value to Steer Progress in Artificial Intelligence," NBER Working Papers 26130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Luigi Marengo, 2019. "Is this time different? A note on automation and labour in the fourth industrial revolution," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 46(3), pages 323-331, September.
    4. Nippani, Abishek, 2020. "Automation and Labour in India: Policy Implications of Job Polarisation pre and post COVID-19 crisis," SocArXiv h9gaw, Center for Open Science.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    automation; artificial intelligence; jobs; inequality; innovation; labour demand; productivity; tasks; technology; wages;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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