Documentary Explores Pros and Cons of New Technology
Spanning from the Industrial Revolution to Present Day
Burbank, Calif. – Mar. 7, 2019 – PBS SoCal, a content channel of the newly formed Public Media Group of Southern California, announced today the premiere of its Co-Production, CYBERWORK AND THE AMERICAN DREAM. The one-hour documentary is designed to spark a conversation about the impending transformation of jobs by artificial intelligence (AI), with a balanced debate among experts on how both workers and employers can prepare for the impending disruption. CYBERWORK AND THE AMERICAN DREAM premieres April 11 at 8 p.m. PT on PBS SoCal and will be streaming at pbssocal.org/cyberwork and on the free PBS App.
Starting with the Industrial Revolution, the film gives a historical framework for the impact of new technologies that sparked social turmoil, including the progression of steam, electrical and computer machinery. While new technologies have increased wealth, freedom and life expectancy, they have also automated jobs and destroyed outdated businesses. The film explores ways the U.S. workforce can best prepare for the challenges ahead.
The documentary features a diverse cast of experts and notable voices including tech entrepreneur and businessman / NBA’s Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, co-director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy Andrew McAfee, chess champion Garry Kasparov, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, historian Niall Ferguson and more than a dozen scholars and innovators who add contrasting perspectives. Cuban notes “If we don’t start putting programs in place to deal with the inevitable disruption, you’re going to have pockets of the country if not larger swaths of the country, having to deal with significant unemployment.”
Additionally, a premiere screening event and reception will take place in Los Angeles’ Silicon Beach area at Loyola Marymount University’s Playa Vista Campus on Tuesday, April 9. The screening will be kicked off by President and CEO of Public Media Group of Southern California Andrew Russell and Dean of LMU’s School of Film and Television Peggy Rajski. After the film, Marketplace Tech Host Molly Wood will moderate a panel discussion with filmmaker James Shelley as well as Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Mitra Azizirad to discuss the impending transformation of work by artificial intelligence. Please visit PBSSoCal.org/cyberwork for more information about attending the event.
CYBERWORK AND THE AMERICAN DREAM is a co-production of Shell Studios and PBS SoCal. The program will be distributed nationally starting in April (check local listings). Funding for CYBERWORK AND THE AMERICAN DREAM is provided by Microsoft. Additional funding is provided by Stanford’s Hoover Institution, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Texas A&M University.
Join the conversation on social media using #CyberWorkPBS
ABOUT PBS SOCAL:
PBS SoCal delivers content and experiences that inspire, inform and entertain – over the air, online, in the community and in the classroom. We offer the full slate of beloved PBS programs including MASTERPIECE, NOVA, PBS NewsHour, Frontline, Independent Lens, a broad library of documentary films including works from Ken Burns; and educational PBS KIDS programs including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Curious George. Our programs are accessible for free through four broadcast channels, and available for streaming at pbssocal.org, on the PBS mobile apps, and via connected TV services Android TV, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. PBS SoCal is a donor-supported community institution that is a part of Public Media Group of Southern California, the flagship PBS station for 19 million diverse people across California.