6 Key Findings from MIT on the Work of the Future | MIT J-WEL

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6 Key Findings from MIT on the Work of the Future

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While white collar workers in America have seen increases in earnings over the past few decades, America's middle class has shrunk, with many workers losing out on wages as different technological innovations replace or change their jobs. But researchers from the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future believe that, if the right policies are implemented, new technologies do not have to mean the decline of the middle class.

MIT formed its Task Force on the Work of the Future in early 2018 in response to MIT President Rafael L. Reif's call for both the US and the MIT community to work toward ensuring that automation and other new technologies benefit everyone in society, providing quality career opportunities and other benefits, not just those on the highest rungs of the socioeconomic ladder.

On November 17, the Task Force released its final report, "The Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in the Age of Intelligence Machines." The report, which was authored by Professors David Autor and David Mindell, as well as Principal Research Scientist Elisabeth Reynolds, offers six key conclusions:
 
  1. Technological change is simultaneously replacing existing work and creating new work. It is not eliminating work altogether.
  2. Momentous impacts of technological change are unfolding gradually.
  3. Rising labor productivity has not translated into broad increases in incomes because societal institutions and labor market policies have fallen into disrepair.
  4. Improving the quality of jobs requires innovation in labor market institutions. 
  5. Fostering opportunity and economic mobility necessitates cultivating and refreshing worker skills.
  6. Investing in innovation will drive new job creation, speed growth, and meet rising competitive challenges. 

Check out a summary of the report's findings in MIT News or read the full-length report.