Home Uncategorized Philly Tech Week 2017: Robot City: Automation and Low-Wage Workers

Philly Tech Week 2017: Robot City: Automation and Low-Wage Workers


Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are in the process of transforming the economy globally and locally. A report the Obama Administration released at the end of 2016 found that AI may threaten large numbers of jobs and that low-wage workers will experience the greatest pressure on their livelihoods: “According to [one analysis], 83 percent of jobs making less than $20 per hour would come under pressure from automation, as compared to 31 percent of jobs making between $20 and $40 per hour and 4 percent of jobs making above $40 per hour.” Artificial Intelligence, Automation and the Economy (2016) at 14.

Large numbers of Philadelphia’s workers depend on jobs that seem likely to face pressure from automation.

This panel explored perspectives on the impact of automation and AI on Philadelphia’s low-income communities and on what steps we can take to make our automated future better for all Philadelphians. Watch this video to learn about the ways that local policymakers, advocates, and the business community can prepare for these coming changes.


Tony Abraham, Technical.ly and Generocity
Nadia Hewka, Community Legal Services
Michelle Johnson, Pennsylvania Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine
Lawrence Mishel, Economic Policy Institute
Kati Sipp, National Guestworkers Alliance and Hack the Union

Community Legal Services (CLS) has provided free civil legal assistance to more than one million low-income Philadelphians since its founding in 1966. CLS assists clients when they face the threat of losing their homes, incomes, health care, and even their families. CLS attorneys and other staff provide a full range of legal services, from individual representation to administrative advocacy to class action litigation, as well as community education and social work. CLS is nationally recognized as a model legal services program. For more information, visit www.clsphila.org.