MIT Professor Daron Acemoglu: "Computer technologies can become democratising tools"

Technology shapes progress and offers a potential for prosperity or inequality. In the Middle Ages, the nobility benefited from agricultural technology, while the peasantry suffered. Is artificial intelligence now threatening jobs and democracy? MIT Professor Daron Acemoglu knows what opportunities and benefits artificial intelligence will bring in the future.
9 November, 2023 by
MIT Professor Daron Acemoglu: "Computer technologies can become democratising tools"
GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute

Over a millennium of historical records and contemporary observations highlight a crucial truth: the direction of progress hinges on the decisions we make regarding technology. The manner in which we choose to organise production and communication can either cater to the interests of a select few or lay the groundwork for widespread prosperity.
In Medieval Europe, advancements in agricultural technology resulted in increased wealth, but this prosperity primarily benefited the nobility, who used it to construct grand cathedrals, leaving peasants on the brink of starvation. The initial century of industrialisation in England brought stagnant incomes for the labour force. In today's global landscape, digital technologies and artificial intelligence have the potential to erode jobs and democratic principles through excessive automation, extensive data gathering and intrusive surveillance..

But there is another way. Daron Acemoglu's latest book «Power and Progress» shows that the path of technology has been brought under control once before – and that this can happen again. Acemoglu is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of the most cited economists in the world. He says: "The enormous advances in computer technology over the last five decades could become empowering and democratising tools, but not if all the important decisions were in the hands of a few hubristic tech leaders."


Erfahren Sie mehr über Daron Acemoglu am 20. Europäischen Trendtag at the GDI. We’ll show how human intelligence and artificial intelligence are embracing the future together. And we’ll explain where personal relationships will continue to make the difference and how our very personal relationship with our software-driven co-pilots will evolve. We’ll also present the latest research findings and the most exciting AI start-ups.

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