The Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines

In the spring of 2018, MIT President L. Rafael Reif commissioned the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future. He tasked them 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.

In this webinar David Autor, co-chair of the Task Force will discuss their latest report: The Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines. The report documents that the labor market impacts of technologies like AI and robotics are taking years to unfold, however, we have no time to spare in preparing for them.

If those technologies deploy into the labor institutions of today, which were designed for the last century, we will see similar effects to recent decades: downward pressure on wages, skills, and benefits, and an increasingly bifurcated labor market. This report, and the MIT Work of the Future Task Force, suggest a better 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.