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In the early 20th century, the US saw a period of extraordinary growth, but also extraordinary inequality. This was the Gilded Age. And although that inequality was a result of a number of forces, it was also a product of technological change and automation of the time. Today, we are in the midst of a massive shift towards a greater reliance on digital technology, and artificial intelligence seems to promise another wave of disruption. What does that future have in store for the gap between in America’s rich and poor? How will AI affect that gap? And why should we care? Julian Jacobs is a recent graduate of Brown University and a Fulbright Scholar whose research has focused on the effects of artificial intelligence on income inequality, the future of work, and American democracy. He is the author of 35 articles and essays in 15 different publications, including interviews with Bernie Sanders, David Cameron, Noam Chomsky, Peter Hitchens, Tom Perez, and Reza Aslan. He is the Founding Editor-In-Chief of the Brown University Journal of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. Julian previously worked at The Brookings Institution and in President Barack Obama’s post-presidency office, where he supported the 44th President’s correspondence, communications, and speechwriting teams. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at



Jamie Slevin says:

Excellent talk – passing this on

busker2005 says:

This is so interesting. Been following this guy for a while—he knows his stuff

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