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The Work of the Future

Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines

By David AutorDavid A. Mindell and Elisabeth B. Reynolds

Foreword by Robert M. Solow


Why the United States lags behind other industrialized countries in sharing the benefits of innovation with workers and how we can remedy the problem.


  • “The authors push back on the notion that technological advances will lead to the elimination of countless jobs in the future.Technological change, they emphasize, takes time to unfold and creates new job opportunities even while destroying old ones.In fact, public policy has been more important than technology in shaping labor-market outcomes, specifically for less skilled workers without college degrees. Although all advanced economies have experienced technological change, the United States has seen a sharper divergence between productivity and wages, a more dramatic decline in labor’s share of national income, and a more pronounced rise in poorly compensated jobs, all as a result of policy, not technology.These economic trends and their social and political consequences, the authors argue, can be reversed by an increase in the federal minimum wage, which would spur employers to take steps to boost the productivity of low-paid workers; by legal changes that enhance the ability of workers to organize and represent themselves collectively.”

    Foreign Affairs


  • “For too long, American workers have been left behind. Business leaders have a responsibility to their workers to understand the challenges and opportunities associated with building better jobs. This book, based on leading research and real-world insights, provides actionable recommendations to make technology work for, and not against, most workers.”

    Indra Nooyi, former Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo

  • “Emerging technologies like AI hold amazing potential for transforming our society and economy, but as this book illustrates, they must be coupled with innovations in labor market practices to succeed. The expert authors of The Work of the Future provide tomorrow’s leaders with crucial insights to develop a creative vision for the future—and ensure technology drives opportunity in the years to come.”

    Eric Schmidt, Cofounder, Schmidt Futures; former CEO and Chairman, Google

  • “Work is changing in every industry and for every worker in some way. This book provides a road map for how we can shape the future so that it is innovative, equitable, and prosperous. Leaders from every realm—business, government, education, and social organizations—have much to learn from this book!”

    Ginni M. Rometty, former Chairman, President, and CEO, IBM

  • The Work of the Future challenges us to think deeply and critically about the crisis facing hard-working Americans and shows how a more secure and stable future is a matter of choice, not fate. An accessible but well-researched antidote to much of today’s economic orthodoxy.”

    David M. Rolf, Founder and President Emeritus, SEIU 775; author of The Fight for Fifteen and A Roadmap to Rebuilding Worker Power

  • “Having spent my higher-education career working hand-in-hand with industry partners to ensure our curriculum and technology meet the evolving needs of employers, I see the strategies outlined in this book as critical to our national effort to develop a skilled future workforce and provide good jobs for new and incumbent workers.”

    Annette Parker, President, South Central College

READ MORE: MIT NEWS: The Work of the Future