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Artificial Intelligence

IWER Faculty Members Win Seed Grants to Explore Impacts of Generative AI

Three members of the faculty of the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research (IWER) have received seed grants from MIT to produce papers exploring some of the societal impacts of generative artificial intelligence. Nathan Wilmers, Thomas A. Kochan, and Emilio J. Castilla were among dozens of scholars from across MIT who received exploratory funding from the university to develop papers on the topic.

Scholars from across MIT had submitted proposals in response to a call issued in July by MIT President Sally Kornbluth and Provost Cynthia Barnhart for “impact papers” to “articulate effective roadmaps, policy recommendations, and calls for actions across the broad domain of generative AI.” The papers, due in December, will then be disseminated broadly via a publication platform hosted by MIT Press and the MIT Libraries.

Wilmers’ paper will discuss employer implementation of generative AI and the implications for inequality. Kochan and Castilla are part of a team that, with Julie Shah, Ben Armstrong, and Meghan Perdue, will examine the question of “Bringing Workers’ Voices into the Design and Use of Generative AI.”

Wilmers is the Sarofim Family Career Development Associate Professor and an associate professor of Work and Organization Studies at MIT Sloan, where he is a member of the core faculty of IWER. Kochan is the George Maverick Bunker Professor Emeritus at MIT Sloan and a member of the core faculty of IWER. Castilla, who is Co-director of IWER,  is the NTU Professor of Management and a Professor of Work and Organization Studies at MIT Sloan.

 Julie Shah is the H.N. Slater Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT and leads the Interactive Robotics Group of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Ben Armstrong is the Executive Director and a research scientist at MIT’s Industrial Performance Center, where he co-leads the Work of the Future initiative. Meghan Perdue is an MITx digital learning scientist.

To learn more about the grant program, read an article from MIT News about the call for papers and the 27 teams of MIT researchers awarded seed grants.