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The Politics of New Economic Technologies

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Jens van 't Klooster jmv32.

Technology is radically changing our economic lives. Projections anticipate technological change to have fundamental effects on the ways and rates that we work, with two thirds of current UK jobs at risk of automation by 2030 (Lawrence 2016). These shifts augment the importance of the distribution of capital, and the political arrangements which emerge with and through these new economic technologies will be central to their outcomes.

Visions are emerging of how to manage these shifts, often focusing on questions of ownership and distribution of economic technologies. Visionaries of Silicon Valley are crafting economic arrangements around the world in their own image, from labour in the ‘gig’ economy to the emergence of AI. While some offer optimistic visions for basic income satisfying the economic necessities of all in an automated economy (e.g. Mason 2015; Srnicek and Williams 2016), others anticipate inequality is likely to intensify over this period, with the income of high-income households in the UK predicted to rise at 11 times the rate of low income households (Lawrence 2016). This panel will discuss the various political arrangements that could and should take form under these rapid economic shifts.

Hannah Kuchler is the San Francisco correspondent for the Financial Times. She reports from Silicon Valley, writing about powerful tech companies, emerging startups and the culture of the tech industry. She specialises in covering social media and cyber security.

Mathew Lawrence is a Senior Research Fellow at the think tank IPPR . He is based in the Economy team, leading on the intersection between economic and technological change, political economy, and workplace democracy. He has authored reports which have received wide media coverage and is editor of IPPR Progressive Review. He holds a Dual MA:MSc in World History with Distinction from Columbia University and the LSE .

This talk is part of the The Politics of Economics series.

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