David Mindell: The Work of the Future
February 22 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Automation will transform our work, our lives, our society. Whether the outcome is inclusive or exclusive, fair or laissez-faire, is up to us. Getting this right is among the most important and inspiring challenges of our time – and it should be a priority for everyone who hopes to enjoy the benefits of a society that’s healthy and stable, because it offers opportunity for all. In this work, those of us leading and benefiting from the technology revolution must help lead the way.
Join Prof. David Mindell, Frances and David Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing (STS), Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and co-chair, MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future, as he discusses the task force report’s findings.
Register in advance for this Zoom meeting: https://mit.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYuf-msrT8tHdyCnbezDH-6PdjluUzJMZIz
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
In the fall of 2017, MIT President Reif issued a call to action, for the nation and especially for MIT. In response, in February 2018, the formation of the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future was announced and in November 2020, the task force released its final report, The Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines.
The report provides insight into how new technologies are changing the nature of work and what institutional reforms are needed to support workers and promote broader shared prosperity.
The work of the task force represents the distinctive strengths of the MIT community, integrating ideas from economics, engineering, computer science, political science, history, anthropology, urban planning, management, and more. Task force members worked collaboratively with leaders in industry, government, labor, education, and the nonprofit sector, from around the world and across the US, including from those regions hardest hit by job loss. Together, they tackled three questions:
- How are emerging technologies transforming the nature of human work and the skills that enable people to thrive in the digital economy?
- How can we shape and catalyze technological innovation to complement and augment human potential?
- And how can our civic institutions – existing and new – ensure that the gains from these emerging innovations contribute to equality of opportunity, social inclusion, and shared prosperity?
The report’s policy recommendations focus on investing in fresh approaches to skill building and education, improving job quality, and expanding and shaping innovation. Policy and institutional reform are particularly needed at a time when Covid-19 has exposed many of the weaknesses in our labor market and social insurance system for workers.