Computer Science Department Distinguished Lecture Series: Humans, Machines, and Work: The Future is Now

Professor Moshe Vardi
Professor Moshe Vardi
Speaker Name: 
Moshe Y. Vardi
Speaker Title: 
George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering
Speaker Organization: 
Rice Univeristy
Start Time: 
Monday, June 4, 2018 - 2:00pm
End Time: 
Monday, June 4, 2018 - 3:00pm
Engineering 2, Room 180
Distinguished Professor Phokion Kolaitis


Automation, driven by technological progress, has been increasing inexorably for the past several decades. Two schools of economic thinking have for many years been engaged in a debate about the potential effects of automation on jobs: will new technology spawn mass unemployment, as the robots take jobs away from humans? Or will the jobs robots take over create demand for new human jobs?

I will present data that demonstrate that the concerns about automation are valid. In fact, technology has been hurting working-class people for the past 40 years. The discussion about humans, machines, and work tends to be a discussion about some undetermined point in the far future. But it is time to face reality. The future is now.


Moshe Y. Vardi is the George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering and Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology at Rice University. He is the recipient of several awards, including the ACM SIGACT Goedel Prize, the ACM Kanellakis Award, the ACM SIGMOD Codd Award, the Blaise Pascal Medal, the IEEE Computer Society Goode Award, and the EATCS Distinguished Achievements Award.  He is the author and co-author of over 500 papers, as well as two books. He is a fellow of several societies, and a member of several academies, including the US National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Science.  He holds honorary doctorates from several universities.  He is a Senior Editor of the Communications of the ACM, the premier publication in computing. For more information, visit