Posts Under: artificial intelligence

Productivity Remains Key for Prosperity and Good Policy Remains Key to Raising Productivity

Gavyn Davies writes in an April 30, 2017 Financial Times piece that “there have been some signs that productivity growth may be starting to recover from the low points reached a few years ago.”  Davies notes that Jan Hatzius from Goldman Sachs shows somewhat improving labor productivity growth starting in 2016 – Hatzius used official data and numbers from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) purchasing manager’s index.  And Juan Antolin-Diaz is slated to publish work in the Review of Economics and Statistic next month showing an increase in trend productivity growth from 0.3% in 2012 Q2 to 0.7% now.  Davies himself, however, concedes that these numbers are tentative.

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An Idea Whose Time is Coming

Benoit Hamon, the French Socialist Party candidate chosen by primary voters this week, has a plan.  He wants to provide everyone in France with a basic income.  The idea has been around for generations.  Why now?  Because Hamon thinks robots are coming for our jobs and we’re going to need to share the wealth they create. U.S. companies and entrepreneurs are flirting with the idea as well. If advanced artificial intelligence can really replace workers at all skill levels, then there might not be enough work to go around.  Brynjolffson and McAfee warn that education and skills training might not keep pace with rapidly advancing technological change – by the time workers learned new skills they would already be made obsolete by the evolution of smart machines. Of course, this hasn’t really happened up to now.  Automation and computer technology have created more jobs than they destroy. When companies introduce automation, it cheapens t ...

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

Yesterday, the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) published another issue brief titled, “Artificial Intelligence and The Future of Work” which discusses the economic effects of computerization on jobs.  It also provides some policy options for challenges that Artificial Intelligence (AI) poses to the workplace.

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The Universal Basic Income Drumbeat Continues

In his latest column, The New Yorker’s Financial Page writer, James Surowiecki makes the Case for Free Money. Why, he asks, don’t we have universal basic income?  It may be, he thinks, “an idea whose time has come.” He notes that the work disincentive under a universal basic income is mild – in Canada’s Manitoba experiment in the 1970s working hours for men dropped only 1%.  Other measures of well-being improved markedly. Teenagers stayed in school and hospitalization rates declined. So what’s not to like?

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Basic Universal Income Gets on the National and International Policy Agenda

Perhaps because of the June 5 vote in Switzerland, media outlets have recently focused increased attention on proposals for a basic universal income.  This is not a proposal whose time has come, but it is continuing its steady march toward the center of the national and international political agenda.

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