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Economists Pin More Blame on Tech for Rising Inequality

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Daron Acemoglu, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says at least half the rising gap in wages among American workers in the last 40 years comes from the automation of tasks once done by people.

Credit: Cody O'Loughlin/The New York Times

Some economists blame escalating inequality on the automation of tasks formerly done by humans, in addition to excessive technology investment and supportive public policies.

Stanford University’s Erik Brynjolfsson warns of technologists, business people, and policymakers falling into “the Turing trap,” the assumption that artificial intelligence (AI) can match human performance, which leads to AI systems that replace people rather than augmenting their performance.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Daron Acemoglu and Boston University's Pascual Restrepo determined "so-so technologies" that replace workers without raising productivity underlie sluggish productivity growth. Acemoglu endorses directing technology development along a more “human-friendly" path that works for, and with, people.

From The New York Times
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