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The Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier

April 26, 2018

The Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier

Fay Lomax: Assistant Director, National Science Foundation (NSF) and Head of the NSF's Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate; Professor of Human Development and Social Policy (on leave), IPR Fellow, Northwestern University

Thursday, April 26, 2018
4:00-5:30 p.m.
Rebecca Crown Center, Hardin Hall
633 Clark Street, Evanston Campus 

fay-lomax-cook-headshot.jpgThe National Science Foundation has developed 10 “Big Ideas” for investments in science. Cook will briefly describe all the Big Ideas, but her talk will focus on one in particular, “The Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier.”  She will describe some of what we do, and do not, know about how rapidly emerging technologies from artificial intelligence (AI) to robotics are changing the workforce and workers’ lives. What are the benefits and risks of the changes that are taking place? How can social and behavioral scientists work with computer scientists, engineers, and educators to develop technologies that can work collaboratively with humans—for example, as cognitive and physical assistants? How can we foster lifelong and pervasive learning so that displaced workers can more easily adapt to change and learn new skills for the ever-evolving workplace?   

Fay Lomax Cook is on leave from Northwestern University at the National Science Foundation (NSF), where she has served as NSF Assistant Director and head of the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate since September 2014. At the University, she is a fellow of the Institute for Policy Research and professor of human development and social policy in the School of Education and Social Policy, with a courtesy appointment in the department of political science. Her research focuses on the interrelationships between public opinion and social policy, the politics of public policy, public deliberation, and the dynamics of public support for programs for older Americans, particularly Social Security. She serves as co-chair for the White House National Science and Technology Council's interagency Social and Behavioral Sciences Subcommittee of the Committee on Science and as co-chair of the federal interagency committee to assess research needs related to the nation’s opioid crisis. She served as IPR director from 1996–2012.