Professor Carl Benedikt Frey

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Professor, Future of Work; Author of The Technology Trap

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Synopsis

Combining history and economics, Carl considers what history can teach us about where technology, employment and economics are headed and the impact these connected areas have from social and political movements to the nature of cities and homes. His groundbreaking work into the future of employment estimated almost 50% of modern day jobs could potentially be automated almost out of existence. He looks at the threats and opportunities new ways of working, new industries and new values present.

Biography

Carl Benedikt Frey is a writer and academic, a historian and economist who focuses on all aspects how work, employment and the workplace are changing and consequently shaping the world. He is a Fellow at Oxford University where he directs the programme on the Future of Work at the Oxford Martin School. From social and political movements to the nature of cities and homes, Carl considers what history can teach us about where technology, employment and economics are headed.

In his book, The Technology Trap: Capital, Labor, and Power in the Age of Automation, Carl examines the interplay of technological revolutions and the social and political shifts that accompany them. Taking the long-term view, he sees big innovations accompanied by periods of often severe disruption and pain for many, but eventually a more prosperous, equal society emerges. From the industrial revolution to digital and AI, he considers how political, financial and social capital are changed by the spread of technologies. The Technology Trap was selected as a Financial Times Best Book of the Year.

Carl is also the co-author of the acclaimed paper The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerization, which estimated almost half of all jobs in the US were at risk of automation, and that this likelihood had a serious impact on earning and education prospects. The study was used by organisations from the Bank of England to President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, the BBC to the World Bank, and was even discussed on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Having studied economics, history and management, Carl joined the Oxford Martin School, establishing the school’s Future of Work programme. He was an Economics Associate of Nuffield College, Oxford and Senior Fellow at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Department of Economic History at Lund University, and a Fellow of the RSA. He joined the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on the New Economic Agenda, as well as the Bretton Woods Committee on global economic progress, and was a member of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence – an OECD-hosted multi-stakeholder initiative to guide the responsible development and application of AI.

Carl has advised international organisations, governments, and businesses, including the G20, the OECD, the European Commission, the UN, and several Fortune 500 companies. He has written for the Financial Times, Scientific American, and The Wall Street Journal, whilst his academic work has been featured around the world in publications including The Economist, Bloomberg, The Guardian, New York Times, Time Magazine, Le Monde, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

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