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Report examines how to make technology work for society

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Automation is not likely to eliminate millions of jobs any time soon--but the U.S. still needs vastly improved policies if Americans are to build better careers and share prosperity as technological changes occur, according to a new MIT report about the workplace. The report, which represents the initial findings of MIT's Task Force on the Work of the Future, punctures some conventional wisdom and builds a nuanced picture of the evolution of technology and jobs, the subject of much fraught public discussion. The likelihood of robots, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI) wiping out huge sectors of the workforce in the near future is exaggerated, the task force concludes--but there is reason for concern about the impact of new technology on the labor market. In recent decades, technology has contributed to the polarization of employment, disproportionately helping high-skilled professionals while reducing opportunities for many other workers, and new technologies could exacerbate this trend. Moreover, the report emphasizes, at a time of historic income inequality, a critical challenge is not necessarily a lack of jobs, but the low quality of many jobs and the resulting lack of viable careers for many people, particularly workers without college degrees.


MIT report examines how to make technology work for society

#artificialintelligence

Automation is not likely to eliminate millions of jobs any time soon -- but the U.S. still needs vastly improved policies if Americans are to build better careers and share prosperity as technological changes occur, according to a new MIT report about the workplace. The report, which represents the initial findings of MIT's Task Force on the Work of the Future, punctures some conventional wisdom and builds a nuanced picture of the evolution of technology and jobs, the subject of much fraught public discussion. The likelihood of robots, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI) wiping out huge sectors of the workforce in the near future is exaggerated, the task force concludes -- but there is reason for concern about the impact of new technology on the labor market. In recent decades, technology has contributed to the polarization of employment, disproportionately helping high-skilled professionals while reducing opportunities for many other workers, and new technologies could exacerbate this trend. Moreover, the report emphasizes, at a time of historic income inequality, a critical challenge is not necessarily a lack of jobs, but the low quality of many jobs and the resulting lack of viable careers for many people, particularly workers without college degrees.


No-collar workforce: Humans and machines in one loop--collaborating in roles and new talent models

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With intelligent automation marching steadily toward broader adoption, media coverage of this historic technology disruption is turning increasingly alarmist. "New study: Artificial intelligence is coming for your jobs, millennials,"1 announced one business news outlet recently. "US workers face higher risk of being replaced by robots,"2 declared another. These dire headlines may deliver impressive click stats, but they don't consider a much more hopeful--and likely--scenario: In the near future, human workers and machines will work together seamlessly, each complementing the other's efforts in a single loop of productivity. And, in turn, HR organizations will begin developing new strategies and tools for recruiting, managing, and training a hybrid human-machine workforce. Notwithstanding sky-is-falling predictions, robotics, cognitive, and artificial intelligence (AI) will probably not displace most human workers. Yes, these tools offer opportunities to automate some repetitive low-level tasks. Perhaps more importantly, intelligent automation solutions may be able to augment human performance by automating certain parts of a task, thus freeing individuals to focus on more "human" aspects that require empathic problem-solving abilities, social skills, and emotional intelligence. For example, if retail banking transactions were automated, bank tellers would be able to spend more time interacting with and advising customers--and selling products.


Artificial Intelligence will Make the Workplace More Human, not Less

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New AI systems have beyond-human cognitive abilities, which many of us fear could potentially dehumanize the future of work. However, by automating these skills, AI will push human professionals up the skillset ladder into uniquely human skills such as creativity, social abilities, empathy, and sense-making, which machines cannot automate. As a result, AI will make the workplace more human, not less. This is the gift of AI to Mankind. However, humans will need to change jobs and learn new skills throughout their lives.


How Will AI Change Work? Here Are 5 Schools of Thought

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The future of the workforce is one of the biggest issues facing CEOs today. It's abundantly clear to all that artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and advanced robotics make it possible for machines to take on tasks that once required a person to do them. How should companies prepare, strategically, to thrive in this world? Views on what to expect vary dramatically. By some accounts, almost half of all jobs in the U.S. economy could be made obsolete.