Carnegie Mellon University

AI, robotics, machine learning, and advanced manufacturing have profoundly impacted our society, economy, and daily lives. Yet automation is displacing workers across many industries. Algorithms are driving decision-making in powerful, unseen (and unforeseen) ways. New platforms and networks are reshaping how we view and engage with our world.

The Block Center seeks out results-oriented projects that align with our three focus areas: how emerging technologies will alter the future of work, how AI and analytics can be harnessed for social good, and how innovation in these spaces can be more inclusive and improve quality of life for all. We then support work that shows the greatest promise for delivering actionable policy impact.

The Block Method

Focus Areas


The Future of Work

How will technology change the nature of work? What types of jobs will no longer be done by humans? Who is at risk of being left behind?


Responsible AI

How can artificial intelligence and analytics increase justice and reduce inequality? Can we design algorithms which are transparent and fair? How do we design machines that are worthy of our trust?


Seeding Societal Futures

How can technology be used to reskill displaced workers? What new work opportunities will technology create? What solutions can we create to alleviate human suffering?

NYU Wagner Professor Julia Lane visits CMU to lecture on AI, The Future of Work, and the Democratization of Data.

Block Center Lecture: AI, The Future of Work, and the Democratization of Data

The Block Center for Technology and Society is pleased to welcome Dr. Julia Ingrid Lane from NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service to Carnegie Mellon to deliver a Block Center Lecture, “AI, The Future of Work and the Democratization of Data,” on Tuesday, September 19 from 12:30-1:30 PM in Hamburg Hall, Room A301, Heinz College. Lunch will be provided for registered attendees.

Event Registration

Professor Rayid Ghani testifying in a previous trip to the U.S. Capitol

Governing AI through Acquisition and Procurement

Professor Rayid Ghani discussed government procurement as a strategy to promote responsible AI in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs full committee meeting on Thursday, 9/14. 

Watch the full hearing

Faculty Director Dr. Ramayya Krishnan testimony at the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security

Faculty Director Dr. Ramayya Krishnan Testimony - Transparency in Artificial Intelligence

Faculty Director Dr. Ramayya Krishnan testified on the need for transparency in the development of Artificial Intelligence in front of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Security on Tuesday, 9/12.


Watch the hearing and read the testimony

Farnam Jahanian, CMU president, joined Stefani Pashman and Majestic Lane, CEO and chief equity officer of the Allegheny Conference; and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald in a videoconference with U.S. President Joseph R. Biden.

With regional coalition, the Block Center wins federal Build Back Better grant to increase opportunity in the AI and Robotics economy.

The coalition represents one of 21 regions that will receive funding out of a pool of 529 applicants. For this effort, the Block Center will bring together CMU's experts in AI, Robotics, and Education Technologies with community-based educators in the southwestern PA region to help citizens gain the skills that our changing economy demand.

Read more

Dean Krishnan

U.S. Department of Commerce appoints Block Center Faculty Director Dr. Ramayya Krishnan to National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee

Read the full press release

Tom Wolf addresses the state

Using Data-Driven Tools to Help Reopen the PA Economy

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has partnered with CMU to make informed, data-driven economic and public health decisions.

Read more

A US flag collides with a virus molecule

Critical Technologies for a Post-Covid-19 World

Considerations for restarting a more resilient and robust U.S. economy during and after the pandemic.

Read the full report


Past Event Highlights

In this panel from the National Academy of Public Administration's 2022 Fall Meeting, Block Center Faculty Director, Ramayya Krishnan, moderates a discussion on technology's impact on workforce development.

In this panel from the National Academy of Public Administration's 2022 Fall Meeting, Former Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, William Peduto, and Former Mayor of the City of Chattanooga, Andy Berke, sit down to discuss job growth and creation.

Panel: Professors Jodi Forlizzi and Nikolas Martelaro with UNITE HERE, TWU, and ATU at the 29th AFL-CIO National Convention

Keith Block delivers one of the keynote addresses at the Intersect@CMU conference, Innovating a Sustainable Future for All, on February 10, 2022.

A Policy Maker's Guide to AI

Artificial intelligence has the potential to help ensure more people get the services they need. But in order for these systems to be both effective and fair, they need to be developed with community input and values in mind. Our Executive Director Scott Andes discusses strategies for promoting safe, effective and equitable scale in the deployment of AI in local and state governments. Read the report now

NSF Funds Block Center Projects

Tracking the effects of emerging technologies on manufacturing industries. Re-skilling marginalized workers for the digital economy. Helping low-income mothers get to work. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here, and we're making sure no one is left behind. Learn more about our three projects funded by the National Science Foundation.


Are you part of a CMU research team, corporate partner, legislator, or student? Reach out.


Contact Us

Sign up for The Block Center Newsletter