Human Capital Theory Reconsidered as Social Network in the Age of AI/IoT

Author Name CHUMA Hiroyuki (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. May 2017 17-P-015
Research Project Comparative Studies of the Social Impacts of Artificial Intelligence (AI): From the perspectives of economics, sociology, and natural science/engineering
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To put briefly the pattern of the weakening competitiveness of Japanese science-based industries, they can no longer effectively respond to the frequently occurring systems-of-systems competition beyond the existing business competition level and have fallen behind their rivals in the world, facing a discontinuous enhancement of systemic abstraction level of products and services and/or their connotating systems due to the digitization, automation, and accurate visualization of everything realized by information and communications technology (ICT). This is the pattern with which they cannot keep pace in the rapid expansion of the range of consideration caused by the systems' complification and dropping behind the systems-of-systems competition (so-called multi-level competition). This paper tries to ascribe such failing patterns not only to firms' or organizations' business and/or personnel strategies but also to the unexpected change and deterioration of the firm- or organization-specific human capital (HP) embodied in their employees caused by ICT together with artificial intelligence (AI)/ Internet of Things (IoT). Furthermore, it maintains that, to cope with never-ending frequent phase changes in the age of AI/IoT, highly self-evolvable human capital (Se-HP) endowed with both progressiveness and conservativeness is indispensable, and, beyond the limit of the phenomenon-dependent Beckerian HP theory, tries to clarify the main characteristics of Se-HP from modularity and their formation processes, the root causes of HP to acquire firm- or organization- specific natures, the dynamic features of specific layers of HP to change from specific to general, and their root causes, etc.