Stanford University

JOURNAL ARTICLE

What Can Machines Learn and What Does It Mean for Occupations and the Economy?

American Economic Association
AEA Papers and Proceedings
2018

Advances in machine learning (ML) are poised to transform numerous occupations and industries. This raises the question of which tasks will be most affected by ML. We apply the rubric evaluating task potential for ML in Brynjolfsson and Mitchell (2017) to build measures of “Suitability for Machine Learning” (SML) and apply it to 18,156 tasks in O*NET. We find that (i) ML affects different occupations than earlier automation waves; (ii) most occupations include at least some SML tasks; (iii) few occupations are fully automatable using ML; and (iv) realizing the potential of ML usually requires redesign of job task content.

Stanford University