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What are the consequences of online courses? Today’s New York Times contains a report on a new, free online course on artificial intelligence being offered by Stanford University. A free online course at Stanford University on artificial intelligence, to be taught this fall by two leading experts from Silicon Valley, has attracted more than 58,000 […]

New technologies—automation, robotics, artificial intelligence—have created a specter of mass unemployment. But, as critical as I am of existing economic institutions, I don’t see that as the issue, at least at the macro level. The real problem is the distribution of the value that is produced with the assistance of the new technologies—in short, the […]

When it comes to artificial intelligence and automation, the current White House seems to want to have it both ways. On one hand, it warns about the potentially unequalizing, “winner-take-most” effects of the economic use of artificial intelligence: Research consistently finds that the jobs that are threatened by automation are highly concentrated among lower-paid, lower-skilled, and less-educated […]

Jason Furman (pdf), Chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisors, gave a speech a couple of weeks highlighting the potential for automation to displace many of today’s workers, even as he insists we need more investment in artificial intelligence. What they did on the Council is take the numbers produced by Carl Benedikt Frey and […]

As everyone knows, robots and artificial intelligence are coming. The question is, what effects will they have on us? In particular, will they replace workers and lead to massive unemployment? And what about the other workers, the ones who manage to keep their jobs? According to Moshe Vardi [ht: ja], in a speech to the American Association […]

You’d think, if you’re going to write about the inhumane effects of robots on our daily lives, you’d at also acknowledge the long, rich history of human movements and thinking about machinery and other technological developments since at least the nineteenth century. But that’s not what we get from Simon Chandler [ht: ja] who deplores the […]

What did we learn during the first presidential debate? Well, we didn’t learn much of anything. As Charles Ferguson explains, we didn’t learn anything about the causes of the financial crisis; the lack of prosecution of banks and bankers; sharply rising inequality in educational opportunity, income and wealth; energy policy and global warming; America’s competitive lag in broadband infrastructure; the impact of industrialized food on healthcare […]

Steal this course

Posted: 3 October 2011 in Uncategorized
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Actually, there’s no need to steal Stanford’s new course on artificial intelligence; it’s being offered for free, on-line, to some 58,000 students. Once again, the new course by Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig is receiving attention (this time, from Bill Keller). And I continue to be of two minds about the course (as I explained […]

Mainstream economists want to have it both ways: globalization and technology created inequality, and more globalization and technology will solve the problem of inequality. Kenneth Rogoff is the latest mainstream economist to try to make this argument. In his view, the relentless march of technology and globalization has played out hugely in favor of high-skilled […]

source Thomas Pynchon certainly understood the Luddites, as Toby Miller reminds us, and wrote about them in a remarkably prescient essay in 1984. Now, given that kind of time span, it’s just not easy to think of Ned Lud as a technophobic crazy. No doubt what people admired and mythologized him for was the vigor […]