Here's an unpleasant idea: persistent unemployment in the United States is not simply the product of an economic downturn, but is a structural issue with the economy. Certain classes of jobs are simply being outmoded by machines.
On the other hand, one can take the much more optimistic view that while automation will destroy some jobs, in the long run it will help us create more jobs and enable us to be much more creative.
In today's lesson, Ray Kurzweil explains the advantage computers have when it comes to standardizes tasks, which computers excel at when these tasks are brought to scale. For instance, no human can read 200 million pages. But the good news is that we don't need to. A robot can do that work for us and be the world's greatest medical assistant. That doesn't mean we will no longer have doctors. It probably means we will have better doctors.