Technological achievement to technological progress

MIT economist Daron Acemoglu and LBS economist Andrew J Scott discuss technological achievement to technological progress in this Wheeler Institute webinar. 

What do you foresee happening in the next decade on technological progress? Will humans be replaced by automation?

We are not going to be replaced in the next 50-60 years by technological achievement. We don’t have intelligence capable of replacing people. There is tech that can follow patterns and do a lot of tasks but we are not seeing superintelligence.

What has been the impact today on technology and the labor market?

We have been in anemic productivity growth mode in the last few decades when you look at other metrics such as productivity and wage growth in the western world. Productivity is a crucial factor looking at how technological achievement will affect the job market.

Economic theory tells us that the future is more likely to be jobless (or weak job growth) if technology is not growing. Many of the technologies such as AI and robotics have this feature that they enable firms to substitute machines for people. There’s a displacement of workers from the old tasks but does that mean doom and gloom? Not really because these workers can be used elsewhere. If productivity is improving, there will be opportunities for people to be retasked. 

More insights on technological achievement in the video below…

More info and similar webinar are available at the Wheeler Institute website.

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