Artificial Intelligence and Economic Growth

57 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2017

See all articles by Philippe Aghion

Philippe Aghion

College de France and London School of Economics and Political Science, Fellow; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Benjamin F. Jones

Northwestern University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Charles I. Jones

Stanford Graduate School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: October 2017

Abstract

This paper examines the potential impact of artificial intelligence (A.I.) on economic growth. We model A.I. as the latest form of automation, a broader process dating back more than 200 years. Electricity, internal combustion engines, and semiconductors facilitated automation in the last century, but A.I. now seems poised to automate many tasks once thought to be out of reach, from driving cars to making medical recommendations and beyond. How will this affect economic growth and the division of income between labor and capital? What about the potential emergence of “singularities” and “superintelligence,” concepts that animate many discussions in the machine intelligence community? How will the linkages between A.I. and growth be mediated by firm-level considerations, including organization and market structure? The goal throughout is to refine a set of critical questions about A.I. and economic growth and to contribute to shaping an agenda for the field. One theme that emerges is based on Baumol’s “cost disease” insight: growth may be constrained not by what we are good at but rather by what is essential and yet hard to improve.

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Suggested Citation

Aghion, Philippe and Jones, Benjamin F. and Jones, Charles I., Artificial Intelligence and Economic Growth (October 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23928. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3053718

Philippe Aghion (Contact Author)

College de France and London School of Economics and Political Science, Fellow ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Benjamin F. Jones

Northwestern University ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
847-491-3177 (Phone)
847-467-1777 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
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United States

Charles I. Jones

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

Stanford GSB
655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-4800
United States
650-725-9265 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/~chadj

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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