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January 2019

Currently on TAP
Many of the technology policy topics studied by TAP scholars in 2018 concerned the effects and use of innovative technologies in public life (e.g., AI and the impact on labor markets, algorithms and discrimination, facial recognition, and privacy violations). As forward-looking technologies outpace lawmakers’ efforts to ensure safeguards and accountability, concern about potential negative impacts to society raises alarm. Here is a sampling of some of the work TAP scholars have generated this past year to examine the effects of new technologies, provide research into areas of vulnerability, and present thoughtful analysis and propose solutions for policymakers.

Artificial Intelligence and the Impact on Jobs:


  • The Wrong Kind of AI? by Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo, December 21, 2018
  • AI can be the basis of two types of technological progress: automation and enhancement. There is scope for public policy to ensure that resources are allocated optimally between the two in order to ensure fulfillment of AI’s potential for growth, employment, and prosperity.

  • How Policy Decisions Could Shape the Development and Implementation of AI August 23, 2018
  • Summarizes article written by Rotman School of Management professors Joshua Gans, Avi Goldfarb, and Ajay Agrawal that discusses how policy decisions shape the development and implementation of new technologies.

  • ‘AI’s Value Is in Its Predictions’ Says Economist Joshua Gans, May 2, 2018
  • Offers help to the business world by explaining the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) on businesses and providing strategies for evaluating the trade-offs associated with incorporating AI into business processes and machines.

  • Erik Brynjolfsson Discusses What Machine Learning Can Do, January 12, 2018
  • Explores how companies can determine which tasks are best suited to take advantage of machine learning.

  • AI and Jobs: The Role of Demand by James Bessen (in The Economics of Artificial Intelligence: An Agenda, University of Chicago Press, forthcoming 2019)
  • Historically, at times, jobs are gained when productivity improves. If automation increases the demand for a product, automation will increase the number of available jobs in that sector.

  • Public Policy in an AI Economy by Austan Goolsbee (in The Economics of Artificial Intelligence: An Agenda, University of Chicago Press, forthcoming 2019)
  • In the past, technology has displaced many workers from their jobs, but unemployment has not risen; even if AI displaces high-skill workers, history suggests that they will adapt.

Algorithms and Discrimination:


Facial Recognition:


Privacy Violations:


TAP Readers’ Picks


For a different perspective on 2018 highlights from TAP, below we present the 5 most read blog posts written by TAP scholars in the past year.


Read the most-read TAP blog posts from 2018…