Artificial Intelligence

Technology, Skills, and Complexity in the Future of Work

Thursday, February 20, 2020, 11:00am - 12:00pm PDTiCal
1016 CR
This event is open to the public.
AI Recruitment Seminar
Morgan Frank, MIT

Talk Abstract:
Rapidly advancing cognitive technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), have the potential to drastically impact modern society and to shape the future of work. Although a given technology impacts demand for only a narrow set of workplace skills, modern empirical work explains employment trends with coarse labor distinctions between cognitive and physical or routine and non-routine work. In this talk, I explore the complex ways that skills and employment undergird labor dynamics in the US. I perform an unsupervised analysis of specific workplace skills as a network whose aggregate and refined topology grant new insights into job polarization and workers' career mobility. Since these inter-skill connections predict career mobility, I construct a map of US occupations that captures worker transition rates between employment opportunities and, in combination with urban employment data, predicts workers' spatial mobility. These refined models that connect workplace skills to both inter-city and intra-city dynamics enable new insights and new input data sources for real-time labor trends at the level of specific technologies and specific workplace skills. I demonstrate how simple measures for skills within a labor market contribute to the differential impact of automation across US cities of different sizes, and how more complicated measures for job connectivity indicate economic resilience to labor shocks. These results suggest that preparing for AI and the future of work may best be achieved by fostering resilient workforces and adaptable workers.

Speaker Bio:
Morgan Frank is a postdoctoral associate at the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS), MIT Connection Science, and the Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE) at MIT. He completed his master's degree in applied mathematics at the UVM Complex Systems Center before completing his PhD at the MIT Media Lab. Morgan's research spans from social media and well-being in cities to technology, the future of work, and the social/societal consequences of artificial intelligence. Morgan has presented his research at several notable venues, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cinncinatti, the Inter-American Developmental Bank, and BankSA/Westpac AUS.

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