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Labor Markets in the Age of Automation

To commemorate its founding 25 years ago PS is republishing a selection of commentaries written since 1994. In the following commentary, Laura Tyson explained how policymakers should respond to the potentially adverse effects on employment, wages, and economic inequality of advances in artificial intelligence and robotics.

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.