Artificial intelligence and employment

The substitution of human labour by artificial intelligence and robots is a keenly debated topic. Some claim that a substantial share of jobs is at risk, while others argue that computers and robots will lead to product innovations and hence to unimaginable new occupations. This column uses a survey of Japanese firms to examine the impact of AI-related technologies on business and employment. Overall, firms expect a positive impact on business but a negative impact on employment. Firms with a highly skilled workforce, however, have a more optimistic view than firms with lower skilled employees. Since the second half of the 1990s, productivity growth has accelerated in the US due to the Information Technology (IT) Revolution. However, the productivity effects of traditional types of IT were exhausted by mid-2000 (e.g.…


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