Discuss Artificial Intelligence and Its Labor Market Effects.

As a result of the first Industrial Revolution, many specific jobs became obsolete due to an increased use of machinery that replaced goods-producing labor. Subsequent periods of rapid industrialization ushered in a reliance on science and digital technology, both of which continued to disrupt labor markets and strengthen the service sector of global economies. As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more widely available and used, labor markets are again facing disruptions.

In previous periods of technological advancement, labor markets have adjusted by shifting demand away from the specific tasks being replicated by technology toward an increase in demand for labor that develops and/or supports this technology. The digital boom, for example, has led to a vast array of newly created jobs that exist in support of digital technologies. While jobs that are routine—such as jobs utilizing manual labor that are less education-dependent—have historically been most at risk of being displaced, the rise of AI widens the risk. Now jobs requiring more education and analytical thought are also increasingly at risk.

You are part of an economic team making policy recommendations to decision-makers who are concerned about the potential of AI’s disruption to the labor market.

Should the government be involved in mitigating AI’s effect? If so, to what extent? If not, why not?

In what ways do you think the labor market will evolve to accommodate AI’s influence in terms of the role of education, work requirements, the work week/hours of work?

What will be the short-run and long-run effects?

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