(USA)

MIT launched its new Task Force on the Work of the Future today.

The two-year initiative will see the internationally-renowned institution bring together experts from a diverse range of disciplines to investigate how tech will shape the jobs market of the future and how humans can best shape that future.

“The MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future takes as a guiding premise that addressing the social and human implications of technology should not be an afterthought, but instead should be a first concern that pervades how we design, innovate, and take our ideas to market, as well as what we teach our students, the technologists of tomorrow,” wrote MIT Provost, Martin A. Schmidt, in a letter published today.

The global, cross-sectoral study will examine the links between tech and human employment, with recommendations on the best ways to ensure continued opportunities for people released throughout the project.

The task force is made up of faculty and student members, drawn from fields including economics, engineering, political science, education innovation and management.

“History makes clear that individuals and institutions shape how innovation, automation, and rising productivity translate into opportunity, meritocracy, and dynamism on the one hand, or into economic stasis, dynasticism, and plutocracy on the other,” said David Autor, a member of the taskforce, and the Ford Professor of Economics and associate head of the MIT Department of Economics.

“MIT’s choice of the title Work of the Future conveys two facets of the challenge and opportunity we face. One is to understand and anticipate the role that human work will play in a future in which machines accomplish many of our traditional cognitive and physical tasks. A second is to seize the opportunity to shape that future. Our task force aims to contribute to both goals — anticipating the future and enabling individuals, institutions, private-sector actors, and governments to make this future a better one.”