With the increasing adoption and prevalence of technologies such as artificial intelligence, what will the future of work look like? Technologists often believe this will result in radical downsizing of the workforce (making basic income a more attractive policy) while economic historians often think this will be similar to previous waves of general purpose technologies such as machinery during the Industrial Revolution and steam power afterwards, both of which sparked similar fears of mass unemployment.
This exploratory project aims to sketch answers to the following questions through examining the characteristics of this wave of technological change and using current and historical data:
- What are the characteristics of this wave of technological change and its likely effects on employment?
- Comparing structural changes in employment during previous sea changes with what might be plausible in the next few decades
- What is the speed at which such technology will disseminate? What are the obstacles to such dissemination?
I have read Martin Ford’s Rise of the Robots and am now reading Susskind and Susskind’s The Future of the Professions, which focuses on the distribution of expertise.