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
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Focus Areas

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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?

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Artificial Intelligence & Analytics For Good

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?

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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?

Audience members in an auditorium-style classroom observing panelists on stage.

Fall 2022 Future of Work Event Series

In September we kicked off our fall 2022 Future of Work event series with a webinar titled, How is Automation Really Affecting the Labor Market?, where a cross-industry panel of experts discussed the spread of automation and its implications on the labor market. On October 7th we hosted Preparing the Workforce of the Future, an academic conference with focused sessions that convened experts from around the globe to present and discuss workforce development and edtech research. The conference concluded with a public session featuring a keynote presentation followed by a panel discussion titled, "Making AI Work for Us."

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.

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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

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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

Professor Rayid Ghani testifies at the House Financial Services Committee

Examining Ways to Reduce AI Bias

In a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee, professor Rayid Ghani discusses equitable systems for algorithmic decision-making.

Watch the full hearing

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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.

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