‘The rise of the robots’ and ‘productivity pessimism’ can’t both be right

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Talk of looming automation, AI and robots is pervasive in public policy chat – including in the government’s new industrial strategy. Almost as common are projections that the weak growth of the past decade is here to stay – including in the latest official economic outlook. Sometimes these assumptions are even mentioned in the same … Continued

Robots will enrich not replace us

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The robots are coming to take our jobs. So says Martin Ford in The Rise of the Robots, the FT/McKinsey business book of the year. Andy Haldane, chief economist of the Bank of England, last week warned that 15m jobs in Britain were at risk from automation. Is artificial intelligence about to take over? I am not so sure. Innovation is always … Continued

Hollowing out – deeper than it sounds

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It’s rare that technical economic concepts make their way out of the halls of academia and into the mainstream. Yet the idea that labour markets in advanced economies are increasingly ‘polarising’ between ‘lovely’ and ‘lousy’ jobs – with middle-of-the-road jobs being ‘hollowed out’ and wage inequality rising as a result – is one that has … Continued

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