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Automation, driven by technological progress, has been increasing inexorably for the past several decades. Two schools of economic thinking have long been engaged in a debate about the potential effects of automation on jobs: will new technology spawn mass unemployment? Or will the jobs lost to robots create demand for new human jobs? The discussion about humans, machines and work tends to focus on some undetermined point in the far future, but technology has been hurting American workers for the past 40 years. Moshe Y. Vardi presents data which demonstrate that the concerns about automation are valid.
Vardi is the George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering and Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology at Rice University. He is the recipient of several awards, including the ACM SIGACT Goedel Prize, the ACM Kanellakis Award, the ACM SIGMOD Codd Award, the Blaise Pascal Medal, the IEEE Computer Society Goode Award, and the EATCS Distinguished Achievements Award. He is the author and co-author of over 500 papers, as well as two books. He is a fellow of several societies, and a member of several academies, including the US National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Science. He holds honorary doctorates from the Saarland University in Germany, Orleans University in France, and UFRGS in Brazil. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Communications of the ACM.