The Design of Digital Automation Technologies: Implications for the Future of Work

Maria Savona, Tommaso Ciarli, Ed Steinmueller, Simone Vannuccini

EconPol Forum 23 (5), 4-10

  • Automation technologies, including within the same family, are fundamentally heterogeneous in their design and the tasks they can execute.
  • While the number of sectors that are exposed to most digital automation technologies is still relatively limited, it is expanding.
  • Data-intensive technologies are more pervasive in services than in manufacturing sector.
  • This calls for policy to extend its focus from robots to other, more pervasive, forms of automation.
  • Robots are designed more to substitute workers than to complement them, while data-intensive technologies are consistently more complementary to humans.