The Automation Age: The Winners and the Losers - RSA

The Automation Age: The Winners and the Losers

Public talks


Durham Street Auditorium, RSA House

  • Economics and Finance
  • Employment
  • Manufacturing
  • Technology

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From the Industrial Revolution to the age of artificial intelligence, technological progress has radically shifted the distribution of economic and political power from the many to the few.


Drawing lessons from past technological revolutions, in The Technology Trap: Capital, Labor and Power in the Age of Automation, economist Carl Benedikt Frey shows that while innovation has the potential to bring vast benefits to society, unless carefully managed, it can have devastating consequences for large swathes of the population.

For example, while the Industrial Revolution created unprecedented wealth and prosperity over the long run, the immediate consequences of mechanisation saw a vast number of job losses, crippling wage stagnation, soaring economic inequality and social unrest.

These trends, Frey argues, are presenting themselves again in the midst of today’s technological revolution, and once again we are witnessing the rising challenges of unemployment, stagnating wages, falling labour share income and economic inequality.

Join Carl Benedikt Frey at the RSA as he shows us what we can learn from the revolutionary innovations of the past to help us solve the economic and political polarizations of the present.


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