Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

The Future of Work in the Age of the Machine

February 25th, 2015 / in policy, Research News / by Helen Wright

The evolution of smart machines has transformed and will continue to transform our economy. As smart machines become more advanced, the human and the machine will become even closer coworkers. This has sparked much needed conversations about the future of work. Will only a small fraction of the population have the talent and education necessary to work alongside machines? Or will smart machines create employment possibilities that we cannot begin to imagine, eventually leading to increased economic prosperity?

We don’t know yet.

This was the subject of the recent Hamilton Project paper and discussion, called “The Future of Work in the Age of the Machine”, inspired by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee’s best-selling book “The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies”.  Erik Bynjolfsson gave a NSF CISE Distinguished Lecture about this book last May.

The conversations in the two panels focused on labor market issues and organizational innovation in the face of smarter and smarter machines. There was a lack of technical expertise among the presenters, panelists, and audience members. The majority of the room was made up of economists. It would have been beneficial to hear from a group of researchers developing and designing smart machines to get an idea of their full potential. This is a great opportunity for our community.

The Future of Work in the Age of the Machine

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