The most make-or-break aspect of job automation? How policy makers handle your transition into a new career.
So, what will your second career be? There's no playing coy with it anymore: intelligent machines are coming for our jobs, but rather than let this be a point of fear and the start of even greater class division, Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton Angela Zutavern hopes that human leaders, in politics and in corporations, with be proactive in the face of job automation by re-training displaced workers with new skills that will be highly valued in the AI landscape. She's not just talking about manual laborers, either; job automation will not discriminate on the color of your collar, and doctors and lawyers will be hit just like truck drivers and rote-task professionals. The upside is that machine intelligence will spawn new industries we haven’t even thought of yet, so while it's true you may lose your job, you'll already have teed up a new one—provided we develop appropriate policy sooner rather than later, warns Zutavern. If we do this right, machine learning won’t replace humans, it will augment us, leaving our talents to be put to better use in creative and reasoning tasks, which is where we are yet to be beaten. Angela Zutavern and Josh Sullivan are the authors of The Mathematical Corporation: Where Machine Intelligence and Human Ingenuity Achieve the Impossible.
Everything is cheap and nobody has jobs. Welcome to the future. President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas fills us in on how we got here.
The US economy has spawned a vicious cycle that few people are talking about, but it's one that affects us all. You, right now, are likely caught in that ugly loop. In fact, it's what may one day send you packing from your job. It's called technology-enabled disruption. And the worst part? (There's a worse part!?) You contributed to it in a big way, explains Robert S. Kaplan. Advancements in retail technology gave consumers the power to shop smarter and put pricing pressure on manufacturers. That pressure is "rippling back, through impacts on workers and their wages, and maybe encouraging businesses to increasingly replace workers with technology," says Kaplan. In a nutshell: every time a consumer finds a bargain, a robot gets a job.
Job automation will need to strike a delicate balance — we want enough to make our lives more comfortable, but no more than that.\r\n
There are two schools of thought about job automation: one rejects the idea as robots "stealing" human jobs, while the other cannot wait to put its feet up and tuck into some Proust — finally, free time for all those 3,000-page beasts of literature! The reality, as usual, is somewhere in between. An increasing number of professions will become automated, but Bill Nye believes there will always be a place for human ingenuity. We started building complex machines centuries ago because there are things we would rather be doing — like building new machines, refining mathematics, continuing our education, or exploring the universe. There are some jobs it would be better for robots to have: industrial welding, driving trains, packing warehouse orders, admin — why not make our lives less strenuous? "We want to automate the world to the extent that is comfortable, but no more," Nye says. Job automation is scary in the way that large-scale change usually is, but Nye thinks it will be a positive inflection point for humanity, enriching our existence with more debate, art, invention, sport, and discovery. Bill Nye's most recent book is Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World.
“No government is prepared,” The Economist reports.
The Trump campaign ran on bringing jobs back to American shores, although mechanization has been the biggest reason for manufacturing jobs' disappearance. Similar losses have led to populist movements in several other countries. But instead of a pro-job growth future, economists across the board predict further losses as AI, robotics, and other technologies continue to be ushered in. What is up for debate is how quickly this is likely to occur.