CCR’s third colloquium on “AI/Robotics and Employability” highlights the complexity of broad predictions

“Hype vs. Reality:  A.I./Robotics and impact on employability” was the theme of the third CCR colloquium on the topic (see agenda and past colloquia: #2 and #1). Several leading economists and technologists (participants and bios) debated the potential impact of technology on employability, starting with a critique of the Oxford Martin Study: The_Future_of_Employment_OMS_Working_Paper_1.

The presentations were given by: (alphabetically)

The consensus reflected the following views:

  • Routine tasks will remain the most automatable, for the foreseeable future.  Even some facets of innovative and creative activities might become automatable.
  • The full-fledged adoption of technologies generally takes much longer than initially anticipated, yet often strikes deeper eventually than assumed a priori.
  • Robust occupations will be those that are “full of challenges with new discoveries to be made, new performances to be obtained, new things to be learned and shared with others“.
  • Occupations that will see an increase in demand are so-called T-shaped (requiring both depth and breadth) with deep expertise and complex communications skills.
  • Further progress on predictability would require a deep, sector-by-sector analysis, and cannot be achieved by a top-down review.
  • The ultimate challenge in predictability is due to the parameters being numerous, variable, with wide “error bars”, and temporally interplaying with each other.

The Center for Curriculum Redesign is grateful to the Hewlett Foundation, the USCIB Foundation and the McGraw-Hill Financial – Global Institute for their support of the research and the event.