For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Artificial Intelligence: The Ambiguous Labor Market Impact of Automating Prediction"

by Agrawal, Ajay; Gans, Joshua S; Goldfarb, Avi (2019)


Recent advances in artificial intelligence are primarily driven by machine learning, a prediction technology. Prediction is useful because it is an input into decision-making. In order to appreciate the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs, it is important to understand the relative roles of prediction and decision tasks. We describe and provide examples of how artificial intelligence will affect labor, emphasizing differences between when automating prediction leads to automating decisions versus enhancing decision-making by humans.

Key Passage

Overall, we cannot assess the net effect of artificial intelligence on labor as a whole, even in the short run. Instead, most applications of artificial intelligence have multiple forces that impact jobs, both increasing and decreasing the demand for labor. The net effect is an empirical question and will vary across applications and industries.  (p.34)


Artificial Intelligence, Labor Markets, Automation, Job Futures, Work Prediction, Machine Learning


Employment, Automation

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