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Linde Center for Science, Society, and Policy (LCSSP) Workshop

Friday, September 13, 2024
8:00am
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Saturday, September 14, 2024
5:00pm
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Baxter Lecture Hall
Navigating the New Frontier: The Political and Economic Implications of AI

Among social scientists, it is widely accepted that technological advancements typically boost productivity, offering widespread benefits. Yet, these innovations often bring about distributional effects. From the 1980s onwards, the rise of automation and new technologies has notably widened income inequality. This shift has favored high-skilled labor by enhancing productivity, while simultaneously marginalizing less-skilled workers. The emergence of generative AI technologies, including advanced tools like ChatGPT, presents fresh challenges and considerations for labor markets. These technologies, capable of executing complex, cognitive tasks across fields such as software development, writing, marketing, and design, represent a significant departure from previous technologies that mainly automated routine tasks. As a result, there is widespread uncertainty about who will benefit and lose from these new AI technologies compared to older ones. Despite this uncertainty, the rapid adoption of these technologies by both workers and firms is undeniable. While politicians have to date had little to say about the distributive consequences of automation and artificial intelligence, it will become increasingly untenable for politicians to ignore their political implications as these technologies fundamentally reshape workplaces.

In light of these developments, our conference seeks to explore a range of questions to better understand the broader implications of this new wave of AI on society and politics. These questions include, but are not limited to:

● What are the political consequences of the rapid advancement and adoption of generative AI technologies?

● How do perceptions of AI and automation influence public policy and political discourse around labor and employment?

● What role should governments play in regulating the deployment of generative AI technologies to mitigate potential negative outcomes?

● What are the labor market effects of these new technologies? How can research inform policy measures to address potential disruptions and enhance the benefits of these technologies across different segments of society?

Through engaging with these questions, the conference aims to foster a deeper understanding of the intersections between technology, economics, and politics, and to generate actionable insights for navigating the challenges and opportunities presented by the latest advancements in AI. We welcome interdisciplinary and multi-method contributions.

Click here for the preliminary program
For more information, please contact Sabrina Hameister by phone at 626-395-4228 or by email at sabrina@hss.caltech.edu.