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Bloomberg

A new paper by Prof. Daron Acemoglu and Prof. Simon Johnson uses the impact of automation in the textile industry to predict potential similar effects from AI, writes Bloomberg’s Andy Mukherjee. Noting the parallels between the Indian textile industry and disruption currently underway in tech outsourcing, the economists write “the impact of automation on workers today is more complex than an automatic linkage from higher productivity to better wages.”

The Wall Street Journal

Brandon Hanks, a software developer with MIT’s Department of Comparative Media Studies/Writing, speaks with Wall Street Journal reporter Sarah Needleman about how Gen Z is putting their own spin on the heart sign. Hanks notes that “it looks more difficult” to master than the Millennial version—“and it is!”   

Newsweek

MIT is the world’s No.1 university for the 13th year in a row, according to the latest global university rankings from publisher QS Top Universities. 

New York Times

New York Times columnist Thomas Edsall spotlights recent research by Profs. Daron Acemoglu, David Autor and Simon Johnson, in which they explore whether artificial intelligence could be a beneficial tool for workers. “It is quite possible to leverage generative AI as an informational tool that enables various different types of workers to get better at their jobs and perform more complex tasks,” explains Acemoglu. However, he notes “to turn generative AI pro-worker, we need a major course correction.”

Business Insider

Prof. Daron Acemoglu’s new study projects just mild economic upside in the U.S. stemming from AI advancement, writes Business Insider’s Filip De Mott. According to Acemoglu, AI-led U.S. GDP growth in the next 10 years will rise just 0.93% to 1.16%, due to uncertainty on how much AI can really advance total factor productivity.

Financial Times

Financial Times reporter Robin Wigglesworth spotlights Prof. Daron Acemoglu’s new research that predicts relatively modest productivity growth from AI advances. On generative AI specifically, Acemoglu believes that gains will remain elusive unless industry reorients “in order to focus on reliable information that can increase the marginal productivity of different kinds of workers, rather than prioritizing the development of general human-like conversational tools,” he says.

Financial Times

Writing for the Financial Times, Jon Hilsenrath revisits lessons from the occupational shifts of the early 2000s when probing AI’s potential impact on the workplace. He references Prof. David Autor’s research, calling him “an optimist who sees a future for middle-income workers not in spite of AI, but because of it…creating work and pay gains for large numbers of less-skilled workers who missed out during the past few decades.”

WBUR

Prof. David Autor is a guest of Meghna Chakrabarti on WBUR’s On Point, discussing his research on the potential impact of AI on the workforce. Autor says “AI is a tool that can enable more people with the right foundational training and judgment to do more valuable work.”

New York Times

Prof. David Autor speaks with New York Times reporter Jim Tankersley about the economic implications of President Biden’s decision to codify and escalate tariffs on Chinese goods. Autor’s “latest research warns of the economic perils of poorly designed trade policy, but it also explains why presidents might keep pursuing it,” explains Tankersley. 

The Hill

The Hill reporter Tobias Burns spotlights the efforts of a number of MIT researchers to better understand the impact of generative AI on productivity in the workforce. One research study “looked as cases where AI helped improved productivity and worker experience specifically in outsourced settings, such as call centers,” explains Burns. Another research study explored the impact of AI programs, such as ChatGPT, among employees. 

Astronomy

Prof. Thomas Levenson speaks with David Chandler of Astronomy about the potential for a Planet Nine in our solar system and the soon-to-be opened Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile. “With the right observatory, we can see things that will help us confirm or deny, “says Levenson, “and that observatory is almost at hand, it’s just set to go, and that’s very exciting.”

The Washington Post

GiveDirectly, a nonprofit co-founded by MIT and Harvard alumni, works with “economists to identify the most efficient ways to reduce poverty,” reports Katharine Houreld for The Washington Post. “Lump sums are the most efficient way to give cash, according to a study of GiveDirectly programs released in December that compared the impact of three methods,” explains Houreld. “Two years in, recipients of the lump sum have spent more money on health care, and more of their children have scored better on school exams, according to the study by MIT economics professor Abhijit Banerjee and others." 

NPR

Prof. Jonathan Gruber speaks with Boston Public Radio hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan to explain the relationship between inflation and interest rates. “What’s driving the inflation recently is auto insurance prices,” says Gruber. “Why are insurance prices going up? It actually comes back to the Fed. Auto insurers make a profit in two ways. One is by charging you more than they’ll pay out and the other is investing money and getting rates of return on that money.”

Freakonomics Radio

Prof. Joshua Angrist speaks with Freakonomics Radio host Stephen Dubner about the influence of his work on public policy. “I like to influence public policy. And I’m happy when I influence public policy, but that is not what I get up in the morning and set out to do,” says Angrist. “I’m an academic, and what I set out to do is high-quality scholarship. I like to get things published in top journals. That’s how I measure my influence. Now, ultimately, a lot of the work I do does affect public policy, or at least it becomes part of the discussion, and that’s gratifying.”

Bloomberg

Prof. Esther Duflo will present her research on poverty reduction and her “proposal for a global minimum tax on billionaires and increased corporate levies to G-20 finance chiefs,” reports Andrew Rosati for Bloomberg. “The plan calls for redistributing the revenues to low- and middle-income nations to compensate for lives lost due to a warming planet,” writes Rosati. “It also adds to growing calls to raise taxes on the world’s wealthiest to help its most needy.”