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New BPC Report Explores Impacts of AI on American Workforce

Washington, DC – A new Bipartisan Policy Center report, written in consultation with Reps. Robin Kelly (D-IL) and Will Hurd (R-TX), calls on the United States to take a leadership role on artificial intelligence, embracing the coming AI-driven economy and preparing elements of the workforce for the jobs of the future.

The report, AI and the Workforce, emphasizes the need to reimagine educational curricula from kindergarten through post-college to reflect an AI-driven economy, to embrace lifelong learning and mid-career transitions, and to close the AI talent gap by preparing skilled workers with a multidisciplinary skill set that includes ethics.

“Technological evolution has always changed work in our society. Today, artificial intelligence is making some jobs obsolete while creating new opportunities for American workers. It’s imperative that policymakers get in front of these changes to ensure our workers have the skills to continue outperform our competitors,” said Kelly. “This white paper puts forward an actionable path forward to ensure the benefits of AI are shared equally and equitably by all. We cannot allow technology to widen the have-have not divide in our nation.”

“AI is the future of the world’s economy, and we want to ensure that every American worker has the opportunity to thrive in an AI-driven economy. AI is already having a disruptive role in society, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to have a negative role in our country’s future. If we provide our kids and workers with the tools to work in AI, we will have prepared them for it. This is how we take advantage of technology before it takes advantage of us,” said Hurd.

“The economic disruption and dislocation caused by the current pandemic will only accelerate the role of AI in our society,” said BPC President Jason Grumet. “Policymakers must ensure that all workers have the opportunity to contribute to and benefit from these technological advances.”

This report is part of a series on artificial intelligence issues that will be released in coming weeks. In preparing these studies, BPC worked with government officials, industry representatives, civil society advocates, and academics to better understand the range of challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as AI technology comes into more widespread use.

The goal of BPC’s effort is to suggest concrete steps policymakers could take to advance responsible development of AI, building on the work done by the Obama and Trump administrations in recent years.