AND THE U.S. WORKFORCE
Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?
Committee on Information Technology, Automation, and
the U.S. Workforce
Computer Science and Telecommunications Board
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
A Report of
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This activity was supported by National Science Foundation Grant No. 1449410. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.
International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-45402-5
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Digital Object Identifier: 10.17226/24649
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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here? Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi:10.17226/24649.
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COMMITTEE ON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, AUTOMATION, AND THE U.S. WORKFORCE
ERIK BRYNJOLFSSON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Co-Chair
TOM M. MITCHELL, NAE,1 Carnegie Mellon University, Co-Chair
DARON ACEMOGLU, NAS,2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
STEPHEN R. BARLEY, University of California, Santa Barbara
BARRETT S. CALDWELL, Purdue University
MELISSA CEFKIN, Nissan Research Center
HENRIK I. CHRISTENSEN, Georgia Institute of Technology
JOHN C. HALTIWANGER, University of Maryland, College Park
ERIC HORVITZ, NAE, Microsoft Research
RUTH M. MILKMAN, City University of New York
EDUARDO SALAS, Rice University
NICOLE SMITH, Georgetown University
CLAIRE J. TOMLIN, University of California, Berkeley
EMILY GRUMBLING, Program Officer, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB)
MARGARET HILTON, Senior Program Officer, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
JON EISENBERG, Director, CSTB
SHENAE BRADLEY, Administrative Assistant, CSTB
RENEE HAWKINS, Financial and Administrative Manager, CSTB
KATIRIA ORTIZ, Research Associate, CSTB
1 NAE, National Academy of Engineering.
2 NAS, National Academy of Sciences.
COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD
FARNAM JAHANIAN, Carnegie Mellon University, Chair
LUIZ ANDRE BARROSO, Google, Inc.
STEVEN M. BELLOVIN, NAE, Columbia University
ROBERT F. BRAMMER, Brammer Technology, LLC
EDWARD FRANK, Cloud Parity, Inc.
LAURA HAAS, NAE, IBM Corporation
MARK HOROWITZ, NAE, Stanford University
ERIC HORVITZ, NAE, Microsoft Research
VIJAY KUMAR, NAE, University of Pennsylvania
BETH MYNATT, Georgia Institute of Technology
CRAIG PARTRIDGE, Raytheon BBN Technologies
DANIELA RUS, NAE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
FRED B. SCHNEIDER, NAE, Cornell University
MARGO SELTZER, Harvard University
JOHN STANKOVIC, University of Virginia
MOSHE VARDI, NAS/NAE, Rice University
KATHERINE YELICK, University of California, Berkeley
JON EISENBERG, Director
LYNETTE I. MILLETT, Associate Director
VIRGINIA BACON TALATI, Program Officer
SHENAE BRADLEY, Administrative Assistant
JANEL DEAR, Senior Program Assistant
EMILY GRUMBLING, Program Officer
RENEE HAWKINS, Financial and Administrative Manager
KATIRIA ORTIZ, Research Associate
For more information on CSTB, see its website at http://www.cstb.org, write to CSTB at National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001, call (202) 334-2605, or e-mail the CSTB at email@example.com.
Acknowledgment of Reviewers
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Henry Aaron, NAM,1 Brookings Institution,
David Autor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Wallace Hopp, NAE,2 University of Michigan,
Maja Mataric, University of Southern California,
Mary Beth Maxwell, Human Rights Campaign,
Jonas Prising, Manpower Group,
Mustafa Suleyman, Google DeepMind,
Moshe Vardi, NAS3/NAE, Rice University, and
Judy Wajcman, London School of Economics.
1 National Academy of Medicine.
2 National Academy of Engineering.
3 National Academy of Sciences.
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Elsa M. Garmire, NAE, Dartmouth College, and David C. Mowery, University of California, Berkeley, who were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
The Committee on Information Technology, Automation, and the U.S. Workforce was convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine1 to examine current and possible future impacts of emerging information and communication technologies on the workforce. The charge to the committee was framed broadly: assess many dimensions of the evolving relationship between technology and work and set forth a research agenda (see Box P.1).
The 13-member committee first met in Washington, D.C., in June 2015 to discuss trends in technology and the workforce in the context of the disciplinary expertise spanned by the committee within the fields of economics, computer science, and social science.
The committee subsequently conducted an information-gathering workshop October 22-23, 2016, in Washington, D.C., with speakers from the private sector, academia, and the government. Panel discussions were organized around the following themes: Current and Emerging Technological Capabilities; Information Technology and Automation in the Workplace; New Modalities of Work; Education, Workforce Development, and Equal Opportunity; and Data Sources and Needs.2 The workshop was open to the public and included robust discussion from the audience.
Befitting the subject matter of the committee, much of the work was
1 Effective July 1, 2015, the institution is called the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. References in this report to the National Research Council (NRC) are used in a historical context to refer to activities before July 1.
done by members in geographically dispersed locations, coordinated electronically via a variety of digital media. The committee held numerous teleconferences to discuss this study, including current knowledge, new ideas, and research challenges. These discussions, individual committee member expertise, input and perspectives from workshop participants, and a review of current literature directly informed this report. We note that the scope and implications of the topics addressed are broad and deep. While we identify many trends, challenges, and open questions, this activity did not aim to make concrete policy recommendations (this was outside of the committee’s charge), but rather to surface the key areas for attention and propose ways of improving society’s understanding of them. We also note that the topics addressed have global range, significance, and interconnection; while international issues are raised occasionally, in keeping with its charge, the committee’s focus was on the United States.
The resulting report is an exploration of the current state, trends, and possible futures of technology and work. It considers the issue from economic, organizational, individual worker, and societal levels, along with the capabilities of certain technologies that are likely to drive significant change. We identify key issues and questions for policy makers and suggest new research pathways and new data-collection efforts that we believe will lead to improved capabilities for detecting and anticipating future impacts of information technology on the workforce, as well as
provide an informed basis for debates on which public policies will best adapt to them.
We acknowledge the National Science Foundation for sponsoring this activity and thank Kevin Crowston for his enthusiasm for this project. We also thank the members of the study committee and staff for their contributions and commitment; their expertise and hard work made this report possible. In particular, Emily Grumbling went well beyond the call of duty in supporting and coordinating the work of the committee members and co-chairs. In addition, we thank all of the workshop speakers and participants for providing illuminating perspectives. Their insights helped the committee to identify key challenges, opportunities, and pathways for understanding the societal implications of emerging technologies and changing models and opportunities for work.
Erik Brynjolfsson and Tom M. Mitchell, Co-Chairs
Committee on Information Technology,
Automation, and the U.S. Workforce
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