The Wrong Kind of Ai? Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Labor Demand

18 Pages Posted: 21 May 2019 Last revised: 26 Oct 2019

See all articles by Daron Acemoglu

Daron Acemoglu

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Pascual Restrepo

Boston University - Department of Economics

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Abstract

Artificial Intelligence is set to influence every aspect of our lives, not least the way production is organized. AI, as a technology platform, can automate tasks previously performed by labor or create new tasks and activities in which humans can be productively employed. Recent technological change has been biased towards automation, with insufficient focus on creating new tasks where labor can be productively employed. The consequences of this choice have been stagnating labor demand, declining labor share in national income, rising inequality and lower productivity growth. The current tendency is to develop AI in the direction of further automation, but this might mean missing out on the promise of the "right" kind of AI with better economic and social outcomes.

Keywords: automation, artificial intelligence, jobs, inequality, innovation, labor demand, productivity, tasks, technology, wages

JEL Classification: J23, J24

Suggested Citation

Acemoglu, Daron and Restrepo, Pascual, The Wrong Kind of Ai? Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Labor Demand. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12704, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3390282

Daron Acemoglu (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Pascual Restrepo

Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )

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