(Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Governor Lisa Cook said the use of artificial intelligence in the economy presents many unanswered questions for policymakers though there is some evidence that it could improve labor productivity.
“The impact of AI on the economy and monetary policy will depend on whether AI is just another app or something more profound,” Cook said in remarks prepared for delivery at the National Bureau of Economic Research’s conference on artificial intelligence in Toronto Friday. “Empirical evidence is still patchy, but there is work showing that generative AI improves productivity in a variety of settings.”
Cook, the first Black woman to serve on the Fed’s board, was among central bank officials who on Wednesday voted unanimously to hold rates steady in a range of 5.25% to 5.5%.
President Joe Biden named Cook as a governor on the board last year. She was endorsed for a full 14-year term in a 51-47 Senate vote earlier this month.
Cook predicted that greater use of AI will be similar to the spread of computation in the workplace and could present “a difficult transition for some workers.”
“Any large change in the labor force will generate disruptions and challenges that will need to be addressed to help workers adapt and thrive,” she said.
Before her work at the central bank, Cook was an economist and professor at Michigan State University.
Her scholarly interests are wide-ranging and have focused on innovation and racial disparities, while her career is steeped in first-hand experience in confronting financial and economic breakdowns in emerging markets.
Cook has supported the Fed’s rate increases intended to cool price growth, and she testified in her confirmation hearing in June that she would continue to work to bring down inflation to the Fed’s 2% target. She also said she favors tailoring regulations based on a bank’s size so that smaller lenders don’t face the same burdens as bigger ones.
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