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Why Robots Won't Be Coming For All Our Jobs

I’ve had robots on my mind recently, and not in a “Wow, robots will make my life so much easier!” kind of way. More like, “Aaagh! Robots are coming to take the jobs of people in their 50s and 60s!” The alarm bells rang furiously at a Milken Institute Global Conference panel I recently saw in Los Angeles (“I, Worker: Employment in the Age of Robots). And I just received a new book with the foreboding title, The Robots Are Coming, by John Pugliano, founder and money manager of Investable Wealth. You may have heard some of the dire forecasts about robots and employment, such as these: Robotics and artificial intelligence will destroy 5 million jobs by 2020 — World Economic Forum Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab 80 to 90% of U.S. jobs will be eliminated in the next 10 to 15 years — Carnegie Mellon University Distinguished Fellow Vivek Wadhwa, a former tech entrepreneur 47% of U.S. jobs are “at risk” of being automated in the next 20 years — Oxford’s Michael A. Osborne and Carl Benedikt Frey About half the activities people are paid almost $15 trillion in wages to do have the potential to be automated, and about 60% of all occupations have at least 30% of constituent activities that could be automated — McKinsey & Co. A World Without Work As We Know It? Speaking at the “I, Worker” panel, Anne-Marie Slaughter said: “We need to get ready for a world without work as we know it now. Change is happening much faster than we thought.” Slaughter is president and CEO of New America, a “think and action tank dedicated to renewing America in the Digital Age.” Of course, no one can say with certainty whether any of these forecasts will come true. As Roy Bahat, head of Bloomberg Beta and co-chair of the Shift Commission on Work, Workers, and Technology, said at the panel: “They could be right, or they could be off by a factor of 10. We just don’t know.”

Read More: Forbes

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