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The Wrong Kind of AI? Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Labor Demand

Author

Listed:
  • Acemoglu, Daron

    () (MIT)

  • Restrepo, Pascual

    () (Boston University)

Abstract

Artificial Intelligence is set to influence every aspect of our lives, not least the way production is organized. AI, as a technology platform, can automate tasks previously performed by labor 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 labor can be productively employed. The consequences of this choice have been stagnating labor demand, declining labor share in national income, rising inequality and lower 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

  • Acemoglu, Daron & Restrepo, Pascual, 2019. "The Wrong Kind of AI? Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Labor Demand," IZA Discussion Papers 12292, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12292
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Olmstead, Alan L. & Rhode, Paul W., 2001. "Reshaping The Landscape: The Impact And Diffusion Of The Tractor In American Agriculture, 1910–1960," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 663-698, September.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo, 2019. "Automation and New Tasks: How Technology Displaces and Reinstates Labor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 3-30, Spring.
    3. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    4. David H. Autor, 2015. "Why Are There Still So Many Jobs? The History and Future of Workplace Automation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 3-30, Summer.
    5. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 12, pages 1043-1171, Elsevier.
    6. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
    7. Mariana Mazzucato, 2015. "The Green Entrepreneurial State," SPRU Working Paper Series 2015-28, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
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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

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    automation; artificial intelligence; jobs; inequality; innovation; labor 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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