Policy Insight 123: Can we Have Pro-Worker AI? Choosing a path of machines in service of minds
The prospect of transformative and disruptive advances in generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) has raised major concerns about future labour markets and economic inequality. This CEPR Policy Insight emphasises that the impact on inequality hinges on how AI is developed and applied, underscoring the importance of strategic public policies to promote skill development and steer technology in a positive direction.
It shows that the private sector in the United States is currently pursuing a path for generative AI that emphasises automation and the displacement of labour, along with intrusive workplace surveillance. As a result, disruptions could lead to a potential downward cascade in wage levels, as well as inefficient productivity gains. However, the authors argue that there is a viable alternative approach, where generative AI can enhance human abilities, but this necessitates changes in direction for technological innovation and corporate practices.