White House report examines AI and its expected economic effects

Eric Abent - Dec 21, 2016
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White House report examines AI and its expected economic effects

The era of AI-driven automation is coming, and it’ll bring great benefits for some and big drawbacks for others. The White House is expecting major economic impacts as artificial intelligence and automation become more ubiquitous, and today, it’s outlining something of a plan of attack. Specifically, the White House has listed what it believes will be five economic impacts of AI-based automation, and three strategies policymakers can implement to address them.

Obviously, AI-driven automation can potentially have a major economic boost for a lot of different industries. Unfortunately, that could potentially come at the cost of many low-skill jobs. Such a worry has been prevalent for years now, but with an autonomous future closer than ever, it’s time to begin planning for a new era of production. Below are the five economic impacts the White House is predicting:

– Positive contributions to aggregate productivity growth;
– Changes in the skills demanded by the job market, including greater demand for higher-level technical skills;
– Uneven distribution of impact, across sectors, wage levels, education levels, job types, and locations;
– Churning of the job market as some jobs disappear while others are created; and
– The loss of jobs for some workers in the short-run, and possibly longer depending on policy responses.

The last two points are particularly important, as they deal with the negative impacts of a shift to AI-based automation. The White House emphasizes a focus on retraining workers and offering them assistance as the job market shifts. Even though it’s difficult to make accurate predictions on how the market will change (and how quickly that change will happen), the report says that at a minimum, some jobs like drivers and cashiers are “likely to face displacement from or a restructuring of their current jobs.”

So, what can be done? The White House offers three suggestions for policy makers: “Invest in and develop AI for its many benefits, educate and train Americans for jobs of the future, and aid workers in the transition and empower workers to ensure broadly shared growth.”

In order to do this, the government will have to work closely with experts in relevant fields and the public in general to make sure that as few people as possible get left behind as the US becomes a leader in the development and implementation of AI and automation. If you’d like to read more, the full 44-page report can be found through the source link below.

SOURCE: The White House


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