Technology can lead to better jobs, more prosperity says MIT report

November 19, 2020

After two years of research on technology and jobs, MIT’s Task Force on the Work of the Future has issued its final report, and the news is hopeful: with better policies in place, more people could enjoy good careers even as new technology transforms workplaces.

The report, “The Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines,” argues that as technology takes jobs away, new opportunities open. The real issue is improving the quality of jobs and ensuring a greater shared prosperity, especially among middle- and lower-wage workers.

Lead authors and task force co-chairs David Autor and David Mindell both commented in a press release accompanying the report that the world of work is changing and there should be more discussion around the subject of technology and work. Elisabeth Beck Reynolds, executive director of the task force, said that it’s time to move beyond the hype about technologies and look at what can be done to move things forward for workers.

The task force’s final report presents six conclusions and policy recommendations and argues for changes like institutional innovation that complement technological change, the need to modernize labor policies, cultivating and refreshing worker skills, and investing in innovation to drive new job creation, speed growth, and meet rising competitive challenges.

MIT President L. Rafael Reif initiated the task force in 2017 and said in the release that “harsh societal consequences that concern us all are not inevitable.  How we design tomorrow’s technologies, and the policies and practices we build around them, will profoundly shape their impact.”

The full report is available here.

jobs, technology