The Third Industrial Revolution
Potential Impacts of Technology on Employment
Nouriel Roubini, New York University
We are at the cusp of a third Industrial Revolution, with new technologies spawning a feverish excitement for a radical transformation in industrial production. Technological improvements in robotics and automation, as well as systematic changes in the economy that coincide with this revolution, will dramatically boost productivity and efficiency. However, because advances in technology tend to be capital-intensive, skills-biased and labour-saving, there is a risk that machines will sharply reduce jobs throughout the economy over time. Enlightened solutions to the challenges the third Industrial Revolution presents must first seek to ensure that technology benefits a broader base of the population through education and providing workers with the necessary skills. That most fragile balance – between the freedom of markets and the prosperity of workers – must be sought and found.