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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24649.
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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
AND THE U.S. WORKFORCE

Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?

Committee on Information Technology, Automation, and
the U.S. Workforce

Computer Science and Telecommunications Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

A Report of

images

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24649.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

This activity was supported by National Science Foundation Grant No. 1449410. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-45402-5
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-45402-6
Digital Object Identifier: 10.17226/24649

Additional copies of this workshop summary are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu.

Copyright 2017 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here? Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi:10.17226/24649.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24649.
×

Image

The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24649.
×

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Reports document the evidence-based consensus of an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and committee deliberations. Reports are peer reviewed and are approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24649.
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COMMITTEE ON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, AUTOMATION, AND THE U.S. WORKFORCE

ERIK BRYNJOLFSSON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Co-Chair

TOM M. MITCHELL, NAE,1 Carnegie Mellon University, Co-Chair

DARON ACEMOGLU, NAS,2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

STEPHEN R. BARLEY, University of California, Santa Barbara

BARRETT S. CALDWELL, Purdue University

MELISSA CEFKIN, Nissan Research Center

HENRIK I. CHRISTENSEN, Georgia Institute of Technology

JOHN C. HALTIWANGER, University of Maryland, College Park

ERIC HORVITZ, NAE, Microsoft Research

RUTH M. MILKMAN, City University of New York

EDUARDO SALAS, Rice University

NICOLE SMITH, Georgetown University

CLAIRE J. TOMLIN, University of California, Berkeley

Staff

EMILY GRUMBLING, Program Officer, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB)

MARGARET HILTON, Senior Program Officer, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

JON EISENBERG, Director, CSTB

SHENAE BRADLEY, Administrative Assistant, CSTB

RENEE HAWKINS, Financial and Administrative Manager, CSTB

KATIRIA ORTIZ, Research Associate, CSTB

___________________

1 NAE, National Academy of Engineering.

2 NAS, National Academy of Sciences.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24649.
×

COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD

FARNAM JAHANIAN, Carnegie Mellon University, Chair

LUIZ ANDRE BARROSO, Google, Inc.

STEVEN M. BELLOVIN, NAE, Columbia University

ROBERT F. BRAMMER, Brammer Technology, LLC

EDWARD FRANK, Cloud Parity, Inc.

LAURA HAAS, NAE, IBM Corporation

MARK HOROWITZ, NAE, Stanford University

ERIC HORVITZ, NAE, Microsoft Research

VIJAY KUMAR, NAE, University of Pennsylvania

BETH MYNATT, Georgia Institute of Technology

CRAIG PARTRIDGE, Raytheon BBN Technologies

DANIELA RUS, NAE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

FRED B. SCHNEIDER, NAE, Cornell University

MARGO SELTZER, Harvard University

JOHN STANKOVIC, University of Virginia

MOSHE VARDI, NAS/NAE, Rice University

KATHERINE YELICK, University of California, Berkeley

Staff

JON EISENBERG, Director

LYNETTE I. MILLETT, Associate Director

VIRGINIA BACON TALATI, Program Officer

SHENAE BRADLEY, Administrative Assistant

JANEL DEAR, Senior Program Assistant

EMILY GRUMBLING, Program Officer

RENEE HAWKINS, Financial and Administrative Manager

KATIRIA ORTIZ, Research Associate

For more information on CSTB, see its website at http://www.cstb.org, write to CSTB at National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001, call (202) 334-2605, or e-mail the CSTB at cstb@nas.edu.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24649.
×

Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Henry Aaron, NAM,1 Brookings Institution,

David Autor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Wallace Hopp, NAE,2 University of Michigan,

Maja Mataric, University of Southern California,

Mary Beth Maxwell, Human Rights Campaign,

Jonas Prising, Manpower Group,

Mustafa Suleyman, Google DeepMind,

Moshe Vardi, NAS3/NAE, Rice University, and

Judy Wajcman, London School of Economics.

___________________

1 National Academy of Medicine.

2 National Academy of Engineering.

3 National Academy of Sciences.

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24649.
×

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Elsa M. Garmire, NAE, Dartmouth College, and David C. Mowery, University of California, Berkeley, who were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24649.
×

Preface

The Committee on Information Technology, Automation, and the U.S. Workforce was convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine1 to examine current and possible future impacts of emerging information and communication technologies on the workforce. The charge to the committee was framed broadly: assess many dimensions of the evolving relationship between technology and work and set forth a research agenda (see Box P.1).

The 13-member committee first met in Washington, D.C., in June 2015 to discuss trends in technology and the workforce in the context of the disciplinary expertise spanned by the committee within the fields of economics, computer science, and social science.

The committee subsequently conducted an information-gathering workshop October 22-23, 2016, in Washington, D.C., with speakers from the private sector, academia, and the government. Panel discussions were organized around the following themes: Current and Emerging Technological Capabilities; Information Technology and Automation in the Workplace; New Modalities of Work; Education, Workforce Development, and Equal Opportunity; and Data Sources and Needs.2 The workshop was open to the public and included robust discussion from the audience.

Befitting the subject matter of the committee, much of the work was

___________________

1 Effective July 1, 2015, the institution is called the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. References in this report to the National Research Council (NRC) are used in a historical context to refer to activities before July 1.

2 See Appendix B for the workshop agenda and panelist biographies.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24649.
×

done by members in geographically dispersed locations, coordinated electronically via a variety of digital media. The committee held numerous teleconferences to discuss this study, including current knowledge, new ideas, and research challenges. These discussions, individual committee member expertise, input and perspectives from workshop participants, and a review of current literature directly informed this report. We note that the scope and implications of the topics addressed are broad and deep. While we identify many trends, challenges, and open questions, this activity did not aim to make concrete policy recommendations (this was outside of the committee’s charge), but rather to surface the key areas for attention and propose ways of improving society’s understanding of them. We also note that the topics addressed have global range, significance, and interconnection; while international issues are raised occasionally, in keeping with its charge, the committee’s focus was on the United States.

The resulting report is an exploration of the current state, trends, and possible futures of technology and work. It considers the issue from economic, organizational, individual worker, and societal levels, along with the capabilities of certain technologies that are likely to drive significant change. We identify key issues and questions for policy makers and suggest new research pathways and new data-collection efforts that we believe will lead to improved capabilities for detecting and anticipating future impacts of information technology on the workforce, as well as

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24649.
×

provide an informed basis for debates on which public policies will best adapt to them.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We acknowledge the National Science Foundation for sponsoring this activity and thank Kevin Crowston for his enthusiasm for this project. We also thank the members of the study committee and staff for their contributions and commitment; their expertise and hard work made this report possible. In particular, Emily Grumbling went well beyond the call of duty in supporting and coordinating the work of the committee members and co-chairs. In addition, we thank all of the workshop speakers and participants for providing illuminating perspectives. Their insights helped the committee to identify key challenges, opportunities, and pathways for understanding the societal implications of emerging technologies and changing models and opportunities for work.

Erik Brynjolfsson and Tom M. Mitchell, Co-Chairs

Committee on Information Technology,
Automation, and the U.S. Workforce

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24649.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24649.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24649.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24649.
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Recent years have yielded significant advances in computing and communication technologies, with profound impacts on society. Technology is transforming the way we work, play, and interact with others. From these technological capabilities, new industries, organizational forms, and business models are emerging.

Technological advances can create enormous economic and other benefits, but can also lead to significant changes for workers. IT and automation can change the way work is conducted, by augmenting or replacing workers in specific tasks. This can shift the demand for some types of human labor, eliminating some jobs and creating new ones. Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce explores the interactions between technological, economic, and societal trends and identifies possible near-term developments for work. This report emphasizes the need to understand and track these trends and develop strategies to inform, prepare for, and respond to changes in the labor market. It offers evaluations of what is known, notes open questions to be addressed, and identifies promising research pathways moving forward.

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