A White House conversation on automation and what it means for America’s future

On July 5, I’ll be participating in a conversation with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Zipcar co-founder Robin Chase about robots and automation and what they mean for the future. The event will be live-streamed from the White House starting at 1:15 EDT.

Details are available on the White House blog.

Update: A video of the session can be seen here. Topics included potential for AI/robots to create unemployment, basic income as a solution, and even the potential threat of superintelligent AI.

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Are we prepared for the robotic revolution?

My new op-ed in the Financial Times:

Google’s recent announcement that its DeepMind technology had defeated one of the world’s highest-ranked champions at the ancient game of Go is just one example of the many dramatic advances unfolding in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics. Machines are rapidly taking on ever more challenging cognitive tasks, encroaching on the fundamental capability that sets humans apart as a species: our ability to make complex decisions, to solve problems — and, most importantly, to learn. DeepMind’s feat was especially remarkable not just because the technology ultimately prevailed, but because the system largely trained itself to do so.

Read the rest at FT.com

Economic Growth Isn’t Over, but It Doesn’t Create Jobs Like It Used To

Is U.S. Economic Growth Over?

My article for Harvard Business Review:

Robert J. Gordon, an economist at Northwestern University, has recently published an important new book, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, which argues that the U.S. has entered a new age of stagnation in which our hopes for an ever more prosperous future will largely evaporate. While Gordon’s argument is often characterized as being the opposite of the one I have made in my two books about the impact of advancing automation technology on the job market (most recently, Rise of the Robots), there are many areas in which I think we would agree.

Read the rest here