Working paper

The Wrong Kind of AI? Articial Intelligence and the Future of Labor Demand

Daron Acemoglu, and Pascual Restrepo


Articial Intelligence is set to inuence every aspect of our lives, not least the way production is organized. AI, as a technology platform, can automate tasks previously performed by labor or create new tasks and activities in which humans can be productively employed. Recent technological change has been biased towards automation, with insu¢ cient focus on creating new tasks where labor can be productively employed. The consequences of this choice have been stagnating labor demand, declining labor share in national income, rising inequality and lower productivity growth. The current tendency is to develop AI in the direction of further automation, but this might mean missing out on the promise of the right kind of AI with better economic and social outcomes.


automation, articial intelligence, jobs, inequality, innovation, labor demand, productivity, tasks, technology, wages;

JEL codes

  • J23: Labor Demand
  • J24: Human Capital • Skills • Occupational Choice • Labor Productivity


Daron Acemoglu, and Pascual Restrepo, The Wrong Kind of AI? Articial Intelligence and the Future of Labor Demand, TNIT working paper, March 2019.

See also

Published in

TNIT working paper, March 2019