In_equality Colloquium - Power and progress: Our thousand-year struggle over technology and prosperity - Daron Acemoglu
Tuesday, 20. February 2024
15:15 - 16:20
Y213 and online
Cluster of Excellence "The Politics of Inequality"
Daron Acemoglu (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), presenting remotely
“Power and progress: Our thousand-year struggle over technology and prosperity”
Abstract: A thousand years of history and contemporary evidence make one thing clear: progress depends on the choices we make about technology. New ways of organizing production and communication can either serve the narrow interests of an elite or become the foundation for widespread prosperity.
The wealth generated by technological improvements in agriculture during the European Middle Ages was captured by the nobility and used to build grand cathedrals, while peasants remained on the edge of starvation. The first hundred years of industrialization in England delivered stagnant incomes for working people. And throughout the world today, digital technologies and artificial intelligence undermine jobs and democracy through excessive automation, massive data collection, and intrusive surveillance.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The book “Power and Progress”, co-authored by Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson, demonstrates the path of technology was once—and may again—be brought under control. Cutting-edge technological advances can become empowering and democratizing tools, but not if all major decisions remain in the hands of a few hubristic tech leaders.
Join Daron's talk via Zoom here
Daron Acemoglu is an Institute Professor at MIT and an elected fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, American Philosophical Society, the British Academy of Sciences, the Turkish Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society, the European Economic Association, and the Society of Labor Economists. He is also a member of the Group of Thirty. He is the author of six books, including New York Times bestseller Why Nations Fail: Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (joint with James A. Robinson). His academic work covers a wide range of areas, including political economy, economic development, economic growth, technological change, inequality, labor economics and economics of networks.