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Carl Frey: "Remote work can revitalize poor regions"

The Oxford professor believes there is a risk of "over-regulating" new technologies and curbing innovation in areas such as artificial intelligence.

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Carl Frey: "Remote work can revitalize poor regions"

The Oxford professor believes there is a risk of "over-regulating" new technologies and curbing innovation in areas such as artificial intelligence.

Carl Benedikt Frey, director of the program on the future of work at the Oxford Martin School, said during his speech at the III INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION FORUM that technology can provide an opportunity to promote rural and industrial areas that have been left behind in recent decades by the rise of large cities as centers of the new economy.

"The new jobs are concentrated in the cities, which in turn boosts other jobs in the service area, raises housing prices and crowds out low incomes; while old industrial zones have lost factories and surrounding services. This has created inequality and largely explains the political polarization," Frey explained.

But the rise of telecommuting with the pandemic may provide an opportunity to revitalize those impoverished regions, according to the Oxford professor. "The growth of remote work can allow people to leave the cities and go to the communities that have suffered the most."

However, Frey -who participated in a dialogue with José María Álvarez-Pallete, president of Telefónica- admits that this transition depends on each sector and company. "There are jobs that can be done remotely, others not. Productivity in call centers has been good remotely, but in everything related to innovation, the exchange of ideas and the personal touch are still good. Companies in the launch phase they may need to be in the clusters of the big cities, but other more mature ones, focused on executing the business, can think of going outside".

Regarding the control of technology, Frey pointed out that "there is a risk of over-regulating" this sector and annihilating innovation. "If you regulate too soon, you can limit advances in areas like artificial intelligence."

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