Moshe Y. Vardi does not work for, consult, own shares in or
receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this
article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic
automation and artificial intelligence technologies improve, many people worry
about the future of work. If millions of human workers no longer have jobs, the worriers ask, what will people do, how
will they provide for themselves and their families, and what changes might occur (or be needed) in
order for society to adjust?
“Since the dawn of the industrial age, a recurrent
fear has been that technological change will spawn mass unemployment.
Neoclassical economists predicted that this would not happen, because people
would find other jobs, albeit possibly after a long period of painful
adjustment. By and large, that prediction has proven to be correct.”
as globalization and automation dramatically
boost corporate productivity, many workers have seen their wages stagnate. The
increasing power of automation and artificial intelligence technology means
more pain may follow. Are these economists minimizing the historical record
when projecting the future, essentially telling us not to worry because in a century or two things will get better?
Upheaval more than a century into the Industrial Revolution, and
more than 100 years ago: An International Workers of the World union
demonstration in New York City in 1914.Library of Congress
Reaching a tipping point
learn from the Industrial Revolution, we must put it in the proper historical
context. The Industrial Revolution was a tipping point. For many thousands of years
before it, economic growth was practically negligible, generally tracking with
population growth: Farmers grew a bit more food and blacksmiths made a few more
tools, but people from the early agrarian societies of Mesopotamia, Egypt,
China and India would have recognized the world of 17th-century Europe.
when steam power and industrial machinery came along in the 18th century, economic activity took off. The growth that
happened in just a couple hundred years was on a vastly different scale than
anything that had happened before. We may be at a similar tipping point now,
referred to by some as the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” where all that
has happened in the past may appear minor compared to the productivity and
profitability potential of the future.
report conceded, however, that “trade gains may be distributed differentially,”
meaning some individuals and regions would gain and others would lose. And it
was focused narrowly on the information technology industry. Had we looked at the
broader impact of globalization and automation on the economy, we might have
seen the much bigger changes that even then were taking hold.
Unlike in the 19th century,
though, the effects of globalization and automation are spreading across the
developing world. Economist Branko Milanovic’s “Elephant
Curve” shows how people around the globe, ranked by their income in
1998, saw their incomes increase by 2008. While the income of the very poor was
stagnant, rising incomes in emerging economies lifted
hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. People at the very top of the
income scale also benefited from globalization and automation.
the income of working- and middle-class people in the developed world has
stagnated. In the U.S., for example, income of production workers today,
adjusted for inflation, is essentially at the
level it was around 1970.
Now automation is also coming to
developing-world economies. A recent report from the International Labor
Organization found that more than two-thirds of Southeast Asia’s 9.2 million textile and footwear jobs are threatened by
Waking up to the problems
addition to spreading across the world, automation and artificial intelligence
are beginning to pervade entire economies. Accountants, lawyers, truckers and even construction
workers – whose jobs were largely unchanged by the first
Industrial Revolution – are about to find their work changing substantially, if
not entirely taken over by computers.
very recently, the global educated professional class didn’t recognize what was happening to
working- and middle-class people in developed countries. But now it is about to
happen to them.
results will be startling, disruptive and potentially long-lasting. Political developments of the past year make
it clear that the issue of shared prosperity cannot be ignored. It is now evident
that the Brexit vote in the U.K. and the election of President Donald Trump in
the U.S. were driven to a major extent by economic grievances.
current economy and society will transform in significant ways, with no simple
fixes or adaptations to lessen their effects. But when trying to make economic
predictions based on the past, it is worth remembering – and exercising – the
caution provided by the distinguished Israeli economist Ariel Rubinstein in his
2012 book, “Economic Fables”:
“I am obsessively occupied with denying any
interpretation contending that economic models produce conclusions of real
basic assertion, which is that economic theory tells us more about economic
models than it tells us about economic reality, is a warning: We should listen
not only to economists when it comes to predicting the future of work; we
should listen also to historians, who often bring a deeper
historical perspective to their predictions. Automation will significantly change
many people’s lives in ways that may be painful and enduring.
'Will Robots Take My Job' is a
machine learning tool that gathers data from a 2013 Oxford University report
entitled, 'The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to
Users interested in learning the fate of their careers
type in their occupation in the provided box and hit enter.
In seconds, the system provides a percent of how likely
they are at being replaced by a machine, the automation risk level, projected
growth, median annual wage and how many people are currently employed in the
PAY LESS THAN $20 ARE AT RISK OF ROBOT TAKEOVER
There is an 83 percent chance that artificial intelligence
will eventually takeover positions that pay low-wages, says White House's
Council of Economic Advisors (CEA).
A recent report suggests that those who are paid less
than $20 an hour will be unemployed and see their jobs filled by robots over
the next few years.
But for workers who earn more than $20 an hour there is
only a 31 percent chance and those paid double have just a 4 percent risk.
these numbers the CEA's 2016 economic report referred to a 2013 study about the
'automation of jobs performed by Oxford researchers that assigned a risk of
automation to 702 different occupations'.
Those jobs were then matched to a wage that determines
the worker's risk of having their jobs taken over by a robot.
'The median probability of automation was then calculated
for three ranges of hourly wage: less than 20 dollars; 20 to 40 dollars; and
more than 40 dollars,' reads the report.
The risk of having your job taken over by a robot,
Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman told reporters that it
'varies enormously based on what your salary is.'
Furman also noted that the threat of robots moving in on
low-wage jobs is, 'another example of why those investments in education to
make sure that people have skills that complements automation are so
important,' referring to programs advocated by President Obama.
World’s 1st remote brain surgery via 5G network performed in China Published time: 17 Mar, 2019 13:12 · A Chinese surgeon has performed the world’s first remote brain surgery using 5G technology, with the patient 3,000km away from the operating doctor. Dr. Ling Zhipei remotely implanted a neurostimulator into his patient’s brain on Saturday, Chinese state-run media reports . The surgeon manipulated the instruments in the Beijing-based PLAGH hospital from a clinic subsidiary on the southern Hainan island, located 3,000km away. The surgery is said to have lasted three hours and ended successfully. The patient, suffering from Parkinson’s disease, is said to be feeling well after the pioneering operation. The doctor used a computer connected to the next-generation 5G network developed by Chinese tech giant Huawei. The new device enabled a near real-time connection, according to Dr. Ling. “You barely feel that the patient is 3,000 kilometers away,” he said.
Beijing Orders Alibaba To Dump Media Assets That Rival China's Propaganda Machine BY TYLER DURDEN MONDAY, MAR 15, 2021 - 07:30 PM Beijing is reviving its crackdown on the country's biggest tech firms, reminding the world that the CCP is still focused on neutralizing any and all threats to its control of the Chinese economy and its people. Even after amending China's official ideology to include entrepreneurs among the protected classes represented by the CCP (in addition to workers, farmers and soldiers), Beijing, with President Xi at its center, has apparently decided that Chinese tech firms won't follow the American model after all. Instead, their growth and competitive capabilities will be curtailed for the sake of stability at home. After Tencent was censured and strict new requirements were officailly imposed on Alibaba-owned Ant Group that will prevent the company from growing , the Wall Street Journal reports that next up on Beijing's to-do lis
From Amazon to Wal-Mart, digital retail is producing more jobs and higher pay Written by Mitchell Schnurman, Business columnist May 30, 2017 Retail trade is one of the biggest job sectors in America, and the vast majority of those workers still clock in at brick-and-mortar stores. But the big growth is coming from e-commerce, which happens to pay a lot better, too. This is a promising development for retail workers who worry about thousands of store closings and the march of automation. E-commerce also offers a potential antidote to years of low productivity growth and income stagnation. “If this new pattern continues, it will raise real wages across the economy and rejuvenate the middle class,” said a report by economist Michael Mandel of the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington. By his definition, e-commerce includes online shopping, mail order and warehousing. That’s a more expansive category than usual and was created to capture the growth in what M