On October 31, I participated in a symposium sponsored by MIT’s Center for Digital Business on The Race Against the Machine: The Future of Technology and Employment. The symposium was associated with an event that took place later that same day on the Harvard campus, the IBM Watson Challenge. The Watson Challenge was an exhibition Jeopardy! match between Watson, IBM’s question-answering system, three students from the Harvard Business School and three students from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Watson won the exhibition match, with the Harvard team finishing a close second.
At the MIT symposium, I was part of a panel on How will technology affect productivity and employment? The panel was moderated by MIT management professor Erik Brynjolfsson, who is also the director of the Center for Digital Business. The other panel members were MIT economists David Autor and Frank Levy. We discussed the impact of technology on jobs, in particular, the impact of advanced systems like Watson which are pushing the boundaries between human and machine capabilities