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Labor Markets in the Age of Automation

Advances in artificial intelligence and robotics are powering a new wave of automation, with machines matching or outperforming humans in a fast-growing range of tasks. How should policymakers cope with the adverse effects of this process on employment, wages, and economic inequality?


BERKELEY – Advances in artificial intelligence and robotics are powering a new wave of automation, with machines matching or outperforming humans in a fast-growing range of tasks, including some that require complex cognitive capabilities and advanced degrees. This process has outpaced the expectations of experts; not surprisingly, its possible adverse effects on both the quantity and quality of employment have raised serious concerns.

To listen to President Donald Trump’s administration, one might think that trade remains the primary reason for the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States. Trump’s treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, has declared that the possible technological displacement of workers is “not even on [the administration’s] radar screen.”

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