[cs-talks] TODAY at Hariri: "How Computer Automation Affects Jobs & Wages, James Bessen

Barnes, Kaitlin S ksbarnes at bu.edu
Wed Mar 22 12:02:41 EDT 2017

TODAY - 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM; Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Refreshments & networking at 2:45 PM
Hariri Institute for Computing
111 Cummington Mall, Room 180

How Computer Automation Affects Jobs and Wages
James Bessen
Director and Founder, Research on Innovation
Lecturer, Boston University School of Law

Hosted in collaboration with the Center for Reliable Information Systems & Cyber Security (RISCS) and BU/MIT Technology & Cyberlaw Clinic.

Abstract: Will new computer technologies lead to mass unemployment in the next 10 or 20 years? Automation has led to declines in manufacturing employment and new computer technologies threaten to take over many human tasks. One study predicted that 47% of occupations are “at risk” from computer automation and many fear that robots will replace human workers. I argue that computer automation has been creating more jobs than it has been eliminating and it will likely continue to do so for the next 10 or 20 years. People too often forget the dynamic economic effects of automation. But although new computer automation will not create near term mass unemployment, it does exacerbate economic inequality, tending to eliminate jobs for lower-skilled workers while creating more jobs for higher-skilled workers. The real challenge of new information technologies is not unemployment, but developing a workforce skills.

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