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Managing automation: Employment, inequality, and ethics in the digital age

This discussion paper argues that public policy should seek to accelerate automation to reap the productivity benefits, while building new institutions to ensure the dividends of technological change are broadly shared. To that end, it sets out five propositions. The first two are primarily analytical, relating to the likely macroeconomic effects of automation and its potential to accelerate inequalities of wealth and income. The final three set out how we believe public policy should make sure that automation works for the common good. These propositions discuss how best to manage the acceleration of automation, the public institutions needed to manage the ethical and regulatory challenges that autonomous technologies will create, and the new models of common ownership needed to ensure the fruits of automation are fairly shared. Together, we believe these ideas can ensure a new machine age helps us all lead fuller human lives.