What Does Automation Really Mean for the Future of Work?

  • Hannah P. Friedman


This paper demonstrates how existing research regarding automation and the future of work employs analysis tech-niques which are far too vague or biased to lead to a meaningful scholarly debate. The paper begins by analyzing exist-ing literature regarding automation and the future of work, dividing this literature into three categories: the optimistic literature, the pessimistic literature and the nuanced literature. The paper then discusses how these categories of litera-ture have resulted from biases held by existing scholars and from a lack of data regarding ongoing developments in the technology space as it relates to the workforce. The paper concludes by recommending that in order to clarify the debate around automation and the future of work, scholars engage in more widespread empirical analysis going forward.