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Artificial intelligence and employment: Will history repeat?

The purpose of this essay is to assess the argument that AI’s effects on employment will be significantly different from previous episodes of automation. Specifically, we review some expert opinion on how producers are likely to use AI, as well as the limited available evidence on how AI has affected employment up until now. We also consider whether there are reasons to believe that AI will be adopted at a much faster rate than other major innovations so that retraining workers for occupations that are complementary to AI is impractical. Our broad conclusion is that future employment effects and adoption rates of AI are unlikely to be much diff rent from the broad historical experiences of other General-Purpose Technologies (GPTs).