With the capabilities of AI advancing at a rapid pace, the need for a flexible and informed policy response to the opportunities and challenges that this technology presents is taking on increasing urgency. Recognizing California’s position as home to much of the innovation taking place in the AI arena, our state is uniquely positioned to benefit and influence the trajectory of the technology.

In this talk, Harding will distill the current state of the economic literature on AI, paying particular attention to its relevance to sectors of California’s economy most exposed to AI advancement. We discuss how the benefits of AI will be realized by workers across the skill distribution and explore the major industries in California that are likely to be impacted. Harding will also investigate the AI-led demands on the state’s energy system and infrastructure, and consider gaps that could hinder California’s ability to manage and harness the potential benefits of an AI-led boom. We’ll wrap up the presentation by discussing the policy implications of our findings.

Matthew Harding is a professor of economics and statistics at UC Irvine who works at the intersection of machine learning and economics. Harding is particularly interested in the role of technology and automation to induce behavior change and help individuals live happier and more sustainable lives. At the same time, his research emphasizes solutions for achieving triple-win strategies, solutions that not only benefit individual consumers, but are profitable for firms, and have a substantial positive impact on society at large. Harding received a Ph.D. from MIT and an M.Phil. From Oxford University.

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