SIIA Releases New Issue Brief on Artificial Intelligence and The Future of Work

For Immediate Release:
SIIA CONTACT Emily Ruf, (202) 789-4480


SIIA Releases New AI Issue Brief   

Washington, D.C. (December 7, 2017) – The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal association for the software and digital content industries released an Issue Brief entitled “New Economic and Policy Research on AI and the Future of Work:” The issue brief can be found here.

SIIA Senior Vice President for Public Policy, Mark MacCarthy, issued the following statement:

AI promises to make Americans more productive at work, lowering prices and improving the quality of the products and services they provide to customers around the world. The new research reviewed in this issue brief suggests that AI’s effect on work will be even more profound than it appeared when we examined this issue last year. Our findings include:

  • Robots have already reduced jobs and wages where they have been introduced, an effect that has been checked but not eliminated by the tendency of productive new technology to stimulate job growth elsewhere in the economy. 
  • New historical studies confirm that automation will typically increase employment in an industry at first, but then reduce it over time. New statistics show this has happened to bank tellers since the 1970s.  
  • We now know that it is technically possible to automate more tasks than we previously thought, and computer scientists suggest that computers can perform workplace cognitive tasks of up to 62% of the workforce. 
  • Jobs might well be available for all even if there is substantial automation in the next 15 years, but a large part of the workforce, perhaps up to one-third, will need to find new occupations.

Policymakers should be considering now how to manage this transformation of our workforce to provide jobs and good wages for all. We have managed technological transitions before. In the 20th century, we pioneered the notion of free universal education to deal with the enormous transition from agriculture to manufacturing and service and created the world’s most literate, numerate and productive workforce. It was a progressive, far-sighted approach that still pays dividends today.

With the right policies, we can manage the current AI-transition as well. The issue brief calls for policies to increase equitable growth, reform education and provide adequate skills training.

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About SIIA
SIIA is an umbrella association representing 800+ technology, data and media companies globally. Industry leaders work through SIIA’s divisions to address issues and challenges that impact their industry segments with the goal of driving innovation and growth for the industry and each member company. This is accomplished through in-person and online business development opportunities, peer networking, corporate education, intellectual property protection and government relations. For more information, visit 
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