Month: March 2019

Toward understanding the impact of artificial intelligence on labor

Rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and automation technologies have the potential to significantly disrupt labor markets. While AI and automation can augment the productivity of some workers, they can replace the work done by others and will likely transform almost all occupations at least to some degree. Rising automation is happening in a period of growing economic inequality, raising fears of mass technological unemployment and a renewed call for policy efforts to address the consequences of technological change. In this paper we discuss the barriers that inhibit scientists from measuring the effects of AI and automation on the future of work. These barriers include the lack of high-quality data about the nature of work (e.g., the dynamic requirements of occupations), lack of empirically informed models of key microlevel processes (e.g., skill substitution and human–machine complementarity), and insufficient understanding of how cognitive technologies interact with broader economic dynamics and institutional mechanisms (e.g., urban migration and international trade policy). Overcoming these barriers requires improvements in the longitudinal and spatial resolution of data, as well as refinements to data on workplace skills. These improvements will enable multidisciplinary research to quantitatively monitor and predict the complex evolution of work in tandem with technological progress. Finally, given the fundamental uncertainty in predicting technological change, we recommend developing a decision framework that focuses on resilience to unexpected scenarios in addition to general equilibrium behavior.


Toward understanding the impact of artificial intelligence on labor

Morgan R. Frank, David Autor, James E. Bessen, Erik Brynjolfsson, Manuel Cebrian, David J. Deming, Maryann Feldman, Matthew Groh, José Lobo, Esteban Moro, Dashun Wang, Hyejin Youn, and Iyad Rahwan


Why People Harm the Environment Although They Try to Treat It Well: An Evolutionary-Cognitive Perspective on Climate Compensation

Anthropogenic climate changes stress the importance of understanding why people harm the environment despite their attempts to behave in climate friendly ways. This paper argues that one reason behind why people do this is that people apply heuristics, originally shaped to handle social exchange, on the issues of environmental impact. Reciprocity and balance in social relations have been fundamental to social cooperation, and thus to survival, and therefore the human brain has become specialized by natural selection to compute and seek this balance. When the same reasoning is applied to environment-related behaviors, people tend to think in terms of a balance between “environmentally friendly” and “harmful” behaviors, and to morally account for the average of these components rather than the sum. This balancing heuristic leads to compensatory green beliefs and negative footprint illusions—the misconceptions that “green” choices can compensate for unsustainable ones. “Eco-guilt” from imbalance in the moral environmental account may promote pro-environmental acts, but also acts that are seemingly pro-environmental but in reality more harmful than doing nothing at all. Strategies for handling problems caused by this cognitive insufficiency are discussed.


Why People Harm the Environment Although They Try to Treat It Well: An Evolutionary-Cognitive Perspective on Climate Compensation

Patrik Sörqvist and Linda Langeborg

Front. Psychol., 04 March 2019 |


On the Complex Behaviour of Natural and Artificial Machines and Systems

One of the most important aims of the fields of robotics, artificial intelligence and artificial life is the design and construction of systems and machines as versatile and as reliable as living organisms at performing high level human-like tasks. But how are we to evaluate artificial systems if we are not certain how to measure these capacities in living systems, let alone how to define life or intelligence? Here I survey a concrete metric towards measuring abstract properties of natural and artificial systems, such as the ability to react to the environment and to control one’s own behaviour.


On the Complex Behaviour of Natural and Artificial Machines and Systems
H. Zenil

Metrics of Sensory Motor Coordination and Integration in Robots and Animals pp 111-125