NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Daniel Rock

MIT Sloan School of Management
100 Main Street, E62-365
Cambridge, MA 02142

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 2017Artificial Intelligence and the Modern Productivity Paradox: A Clash of Expectations and Statistics
with Erik Brynjolfsson, Chad Syverson: w24001
We live in an age of paradox. Systems using artificial intelligence match or surpass human level performance in more and more domains, leveraging rapid advances in other technologies and driving soaring stock prices. Yet measured productivity growth has declined by half over the past decade, and real income has stagnated since the late 1990s for a majority of Americans. We describe four potential explanations for this clash of expectations and statistics: false hopes, mismeasurement, redistribution, and implementation lags. While a case can be made for each, we argue that lags have likely been the biggest contributor to the paradox. The most impressive capabilities of AI, particularly those based on machine learning, have not yet diffused widely. More importantly, like other general purpos...

Forthcoming: Artificial Intelligence and the Modern Productivity Paradox: A Clash of Expectations and Statistics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Daniel Rock, Chad Syverson. in Economics of Artificial Intelligence, Agrawal, Gans, and Goldfarb. 2017

October 2017Artificial Intelligence and the Modern Productivity Paradox: A Clash of Expectations and Statistics
with Erik Brynjolfsson, Chad Syverson
in Economics of Artificial Intelligence, Ajay K. Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb, editors
 
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