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Bull Session

The Productivity Paradox

November 16, 2018          

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Episode Summary

This week on The Digital Life, we discuss the Productivity Paradox, inspired by the recent article in MIT Technology Review, “Advanced tech, but growth slow and unequal: paradoxes and policies”. While we’re experiencing an unprecedented boom in technology, the accompanying massive productivity boost that we might expect to see has failed to materialize. In fact, in many major economies, productivity growth is slowing. So, what’s the reason for this unexpected outcome? To begin with, our ability to absorb, integrate, and leverage technologies effectively — from mobile to artificial intelligence to the internet of things — has limits. While the technology might be present, it is not been distributed and utilized in ways that have yielded productivity gains in rapid fashion. Constructing the systems, workflows, and roles to take advantage of these new technologies will take time. And, in concert with these, it will be vital that, as a society, we develop policies that support and enable people to shift into new work roles and invest time in learning new skills. Join us as we discuss.

Advanced tech, but growth slow and unequal: paradoxes and policies


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Jon Follett

Dirk Knemeyer

Bull Session

Automating Work

January 28, 2016          

Episode Summary

What does the future of work look like? As software, robots, and the IoT automate activities previously completed by humans, change is coming all too quickly. In fact, according to preliminary findings of a recent McKinsey report, 45 percent of all work activities could be automated today using technology already demonstrated. From fulfilling warehouse orders to suggesting medical treatments for ailments, this coming wave of automation will redefine jobs and business processes for factory workers and CEOs alike. In this episode of The Digital Life, we discuss the inevitability of automation and what that means for future occupations.

McKinsey Study: Four Fundamentals of Workplace Automation


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