For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"The Future of Work: Race with—not against—the Machine"

by Chuah, Lay Lian; Loayza, Norman; Schmillen, Achim D (2018)


Will the revolution in digital and information technologies make us obsolete? Will jobs be lost and never replaced? Will wages drop to intolerable levels? History and economic theory and evidence suggest that in the long term, such fears are misplaced. However, in the short and medium term, dislocation can be severe for certain types of work, places, and populations. In the transition period, policies are needed to facilitate labor market flexibility and mobility, introduce and strengthen safety nets and social protection, and improve education and training.

Key Passage

This does not mean that machines will replace all labor or that wages will plummet across the board. Computers based on AI are remarkably effective in conducting specific tasks rather than replicating human intelligence. The early attempts to imitate humans in the 1970s derailed AI for decades. By contrast, the recent success of AI has been based on an algorithmic approach that uses neural networks and deep learning for well-defined and limited tasks. (p.2)


Digital Revolution, Wages, Automation, Job Transitions, Rural Labor Market, Work Types


Employment, Economics, Automation

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