Time+Place: Tuesday 08/03/2016 14:30 Room 337-8 Taub Bld.
Title: Technology and the Future of Work and Money
Speaker: Seth Goldstein - COLLOQUIUM LECTURE http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~seth/
Affiliation: School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
Host: Yossi Gil


Advances in technology are quickly leading to levels of productivity 
that will qualitatively change the structure of society.  In this talk I 
will discuss various technology trends, their potential impact on 
employment, and possible approaches to living in a society where a 
significant proportion of the population will be unemployable (in its 
traditional sense) and yet able to pursue lives with dignity.

Past technology revolutions (TRs) have changed the nature of human 
intercourse, created new economic systems, been disruptive, created new 
kinds of jobs, and yet over time, yielded a substantial improvement in 
economic welfare for every segment of society.  In this talk I will 
describe why today's TR (which we refer to as TR3) is fundamentally 
different.  I will discuss a new model of the labor market which shows 
how technology can continue to improve without significantly changing 
the labor market until a critical point is reached, at which time 
unemployment rates will climb swiftly.  The resulting society will have 
fewer and fewer people who need (or are even allowed) to work, resulting 
in more "free time" then we have ever experienced before.  This will 
lead to two existential problems for a large swath of humanity: an 
economic problem---how to acquire the physical necessities for 
life---and a psychological problem---how to find meaning and dignity in 
life apart from one's vocation.

The talk will conclude by describing a new monetary system based on 
reputation which simultaneously addresses the two existential questions 
created for those disenfranchised from the labor market by TR3.  First,
it could redistribute income/wealth in a bottom-up manner.  Second, it 
could enable the creation of activities, engagement, motivation, and 
satisfaction for those individuals who will no longer be employed in a 
``normal'' job.

Short Bio:

Seth Copen Goldstein is an Associate Professor of computer science at 
Carnegie Mellon University.  He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science 
at the University of California at Berkeley in 1997. In 1994 he 
completed his M.S. in Computer Science at the same institution. His 
undergraduate work was undertaken at Princeton University in the 
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.  Before 
attending UC Berkeley, Seth was CEO and founder of Complete Computer 
Corporation which developed and marketed object-oriented programming 

Seth's main research agenda focuses broadly on ensembles: large 
collections of interacting agents.  In the area of reconfigurable 
computing he investigated how to compile high-level programming 
languages directly into configurations which could harness the large 
ensemble of gates for computing.  He then began investigating how 
ensembles of molecules could be used to create circuits; investigating 
how to design, manufacture, and use molecular-scale devices for 
computing.  It included research in the areas of circuits, 
architectures, languages, and compilers.  Before starting, Flashgroup, 
his main research project was investigating Claytronics, a form of 
programmable matter.  Programmable matter is an ensemble of computing 
elements which can be programmed to work together to produce changes in 
the physical properties of the ensemble.

Since returning from his start-up, he has moved his focus to ensembles 
of people and is investigating the interaction of technology, work, and 
money.  In particular he is interested in understanding, quantitatively, 
the impact of technological progress on the labor market and innovation. 
 He is developing alternative monetary systems that can support 
innovation and creativity in a post-labor economy.

Professor Goldstein's interests include object-oriented programming, 
networking, parallel computing, compilers, reconfigurable computing, 
molecular electronics, programmable matter, robotics, novel 
architectures, web based systems for collaboration, distributed 
economics, cryptocurrencies, and agent-based simulation.

Refreshments will be served from 14:15
Lecture starts at 14:30