RIETI Report April 2019

AI technology and gender inequality

Computerization and robotics have had a profound effect on labor markets. Using data from Japan, Hamaguchi and Kondo find that female workers are more exposed to risks of computerization than male workers, and that this tendency is more pronounced in larger cities. The results suggest that supporting additional human capital investment alone is not enough as a risk alleviation strategy against new technology. Policymakers need to address structural labor market issues, such as gender biases in career progression and participation in decision-making positions.

This month's featured article

AI technology and gender inequality

HAMAGUCHI NobuakiFaculty Fellow, RIETI

KONDO KeisukeFellow, RIETI

There is growing concern that human jobs are being replaced by the rapid technological progress of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and automation (Acemoglu and Restrepo 2017, Brynjolfsson and McAfee 2014, Ford 2015). It is often emphasised that whereas mechanisation has so far replaced blue-collar jobs, recent AI technology, which plays a similar role to the human brain, is mainly replacing white-collar jobs (Dauth et al. 2017, Graetz and Michaels 2018). In fact, pattern recognition based on deep learning plays an important role in companies that collect big data, including image, speech, and texts. AI consulting services are already in use.

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