When you’re talking about emerging and frontier markets, you’re talking about populations and societies and countries that have actually very poor infrastructure. So the one thing that they can do that robots are actually doing is actually build their country; to build roads, buildings and other kinds of things. So construction is still one of the two or three largest industries in the entire world.
Agriculture, bear in mind, still employs 40 percent of the world population. So there isn’t one answer for the emerging market billions, but it’s actually still in very traditional areas.
These are also societies where the share of GDP that comes from services rather than manufacturing is increasing because they too are either being displaced by poor workers elsewhere or through automation with companies like Foxconn.
So believe it or not, much faster than we would have expected, those who are in the middle class or lower middle class around the world are facing the same conundrum irrespective of whether they’re living in China or in the United States.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
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