Demographics, Automation, and the Future of Work

Demographics, Automation, and the Future of Work

This is a (free) post to highlight a recent talk I gave on AI, automation, and the future of work. This was for an event in Montreal, and it was intended to be wide-ranging, thoughtful, historically informed, and provocative.

The gist:

  • There are many parallels between this wave of automation and prior ones, but the differences are at least as important
  • A key difference includes the lower capital cost of automation at the purchaser end, which will drive faster adoption and a more rapid and disruptive change in the nature of work
  • This should be weighed against structural changes in the nature of workforces, where aging societies will increasingly lack workers, and appropriate automation can be a remedy for that
  • There remains a risk that so-called "so-so" automation predominates, which isn't wealth or productivity increasing, and leads to periods to like Engel's pause, where individuals do worse, on average

Enjoy. And, as ever, let me know if you have comments or thoughts.

My next regularly scheduled post is on Friday.

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