For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Maine’s Workforce Challenges in an Age of Artificial Intelligence"

by McDonnell, Joseph W (2019)


Artificial intelligence will improve productivity, expand the economy, and significantly alter many jobs. To accommodate these changes, Maine will have to upgrade workforce skills in a rapidly changing economy. This article recommends policy proposals in response to the rise of artificial intelligence, including (1) training programs for current and displaced workers; (2) revamped postsecondary education programs to provide a wider group of students with the skills necessary in a postindustrial society; and (3) a much closer relationship between government, employers, and educational institutions to develop the future workforce for Maine. The paper also looks at the deliberations about workforce development in the early twentieth century as the United States transitioned from a largely agricultural economy to an industrial one for insights from the past in arriving at educational programs suitable for a postindustrial society.

Key Passage

Artificial intelligence has the power to change the nature of work for many people, but the pace of adoption and the extent of the disruption are still the subject of debate. A rapid adoption of autonomous self-driving vehicles, for instance, could dramatically displace millions of workers, but a more gradual and partial adoption, especially in a growing economy, will have far less impact on drivers.  (p.10)


Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Postindustrial Society, Political Economy


Unemployment, Employment, Fourth Industrial Revolution, AI and Computerisation, Automation

Links to Reference



How to contribute.