Artificial Intelligence Primer: What is Needed to Maximize AI’s Economic, Social, and Trade Opportunities

Artificial Intelligence Primer: What is Needed to Maximize AI’s Economic, Social, and Trade Opportunities. Brookings Institution. Joshua P. Meltzer. May 13, 2019

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform economic growth, commerce, and trade, affecting the types of jobs that are available and skills that are needed. The United States, China, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and others have recognized the opportunity and are supporting AI research and development as well as preparing their workforce.

For AI to develop also requires an enabling environment that includes new regulation in areas such as AI ethics and data access and revisiting existing laws and regulation in areas such as privacy and intellectual property (IP) rights to ensure that they work for AI. In addition, AI development requires an international agenda to avoid unnecessary regulatory heterogeneity that creates barriers to data access and use and impedes the global diffusion of AI products. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 26 pages].

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Rebooting the Innovation Agenda

Rebooting the Innovation Agenda. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Jeffrey M. Alexander et al. March 11, 2019

The fourth industrial revolution is underway, and technological changes will disrupt economic systems, displace workers, concentrate power and wealth, and erode trust in public institutions and the democratic political process. Up until now, the focus has largely been on how technology itself will impact society, with little attention being paid to the role of institutions.

The relationship between societies and their institutions is changing, and countries will have to strengthen their capacities to avoid heightened social divisions. They must build resilience through gradual and intentional interventions designed for long-term, sustainable development. It is also essential that institutions work hard to build credibility and use available development tools, such as development finance institutions and foreign aid, to mitigate the risks of disruption.

Countries and other stakeholders must pioneer these initiatives to successfully navigate the disruptions stemming from the fourth industrial revolution. The revision of existing models of education, skill development and investment and the integration of different stakeholders into the conversation will be critical in helping institutions play a productive role in rebooting the innovation agenda. This new report, Rebooting the Innovation Agenda, analyzes the need for resilient institution and the role they are expected to play in the fourth industrial revolution. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 62 pages].

Automation and Artificial Intelligence: How Machines are Affecting People and Places

Automation and Artificial Intelligence: How Machines are Affecting People and Places. Brookings Institution. Mark Muro, Robert Maxim, and Jacob Whiton. January 24, 2019

At first, technologists issued dystopian alarms about the power of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to destroy jobs. Then came a correction, with a wave of reassurances. Now, the discourse appears to be arriving at a more complicated understanding, suggesting that automation will bring neither apocalypse nor utopia, but instead both benefits and stress alike. Such is the ambiguous and sometimes disembodied nature of the “future of work” discussion.
Hence the analysis presented here. Intended to bring often-inscrutable trends down to earth, the following report develops both backward and forward-looking analyses of the impacts of automation over the years 1980 to 2016 and 2016 to 2030 to assess past and upcoming trends as they affect both people and communities in the United States. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 108 pages].

Women and the Future of Work: Fix the Present

Women and the Future of Work: Fix the Present. Center for Global Development. Charles Kenny. February 14, 2019

There is a lot we don’t know about what automation will mean for jobs in the future, including its impact (if any) on gender inequality. This note reviews evidence and forecasts on that question and makes four main points:

  1. Past automation has been (broadly) positive for women’s average quality of life, economic empowerment, and equality.
  2. Forecasts of the gendered impact of automation and AI going forward based on the current distribution of employment suggest considerable uncertainty and a gender inequality of impact that is marginal compared to the potential impact overall.
  3. The bigger risk—and/or opportunity—is likely to be in the combined impact of automation, policy, and social norms in changing the type of work that is seen as male or female.
  4. Minimizing any potential aggravating impact of automation and AI on inequalities in economic power in the future can best be achieved by maximizing economic equality today. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 8 pages].

What is Machine Learning?

What is Machine Learning? Brookings Institution. Chris Meserole. October 4, 2018

 Machine learning is now so popular that it has effectively become synonymous with artificial intelligence itself. As a result, it’s not possible to tease out the implications of AI without understanding how machine learning works. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [HTML format, various paging].

New Kid in Town: Blockchain for Megaprojects?

New Kid in Town: Blockchain for Megaprojects? YaleGlobal. Will Hickey. August 7, 2018

 Blockchain technology promises fast payments combined with secure digital records and elimination of third-party intermediaries and delays. “Any contract, valuation, record or work process that can be digitized can be incorporated into a blockchain, representing enormous strides in processes, efficiency and transparency,” explains Will Hickey for YaleGlobal. “Blockchain technology’s capability to organize a vast number of details associated with a series of transactions may be ideal for managing infrastructure megaprojects throughout the developing world like those associated with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.” Emerging economies could gain a head start in using the technology, similar to how they leaped to smartphones before using landline telephones, and in turn strengthen legal and accounting standards. Blockchain’s rise depends on public acceptance and demand. Other challenges include high electricity needs, data storage capacity and entrenched special interests that may resist transparency and reduced red tape. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [HTML format, various paging].

Digital Decarbonization: Promoting Digital Innovations to Advance Clean Energy Systems

Digital Decarbonization: Promoting Digital Innovations to Advance Clean Energy Systems. Council on Foreign Relations. Varun Sivaram. June 2018.

 A digital revolution is sweeping the global energy sector. As energy industries produce ever more data, firms are harnessing greater computing power, advances in data science, and increased digital connectivity to exploit that data. These trends have the potential to transform the way energy is produced, transported, and consumed. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 146 pages].