Economic impact: inclusion and equality

AI systems are likely to have a major and widespread impact on the nature of work. At its best, this could represent the single greatest increase in productivity the world has ever seen, enabling societies to guarantee food, shelter and income to anyone residing within their borders. However, it could also lead to the widespread displacement of jobs and alter economies in ways that disproportionately affect some sections of the population. 

This poses important questions about the kind of society and economy we all want to live in. Understanding these changes, and the appropriate responses to them, is vital if societies are to address and manage the risks and opportunities created by disruptive technological change.

Open questions include:

  • How can we understand and estimate the effect AI will have on the changing labour market? What are the possible risks, benefits, and consequences of these changes?
  • How and when will AI affect the relative earning power of different economic groups in society? What forms of inequality could this create or exacerbate?
  • How can the social and economic impact of AI be anticipated and modelled, given that they are predicated on technological advances yet to be made?
  • What new opportunities do these technologies create, and what responses are needed to ensure positive economic effects, inclusivity and equal access to benefits?

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