Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Polyani Paradox and, Will Your Job be Replaced by a Robot?

Those are just two of the fascinating topics covered in the lastest version of Econtalk's podcast series. Host Russ Roberts's and his guest, MIT professor David Autor, discuss the potential effects of continued technological advancement on our society.  Here's the description from the podcast home:
David Autor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology talks with EconTalk hostRuss Roberts about the future of work and the role that automation and smart machines might play in the workforce. Autor stresses the importance of Michael Polanyi's insight that many of the things we know and understand cannot be easily written down or communicated. Those kinds of tacit knowledge will be difficult for smart machines to access and use. In addition, Autor argues that fundamentally, the gains from machine productivity will accrue to humans. The conversation closes with a discussion of the distributional implications of a world with a vastly larger role for smart machines.
Though the discussion can be somewhat esoteric at times, for the most part, it's accessible and definitely interesting.  Spend an hour and check it out.