The automation of factories has already resulted in the abolition of thousands of jobs in traditional manufacturing. Artificial intelligence’s emergence is anticipated to extend this job devastation deep into the middle class, leaving only the most caring, creative, or managerial roles.” Hawking, Stephen.
There is a growing chorus of alarm about the rate at which robots are displacing humans.
Elon Musk at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Thursday:
“How are we to address mass unemployment?” This is going to be a monumental social problem. There will be an increasing number of jobs that a robot cannot perform as well as a human. These are not events I wish would occur. These are merely events that I believe will occur.” Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s
And today, Bill Gates advocated that governments begin taxing robot workers in the same way they tax humans: “You cross the barrier of employment replacement for specific tasks all at once.” Thus, warehouse work, transportation, and room cleaning are only a few of the relevant employment categories that will almost surely vanish in the next two decades.” — Distinguished Sir Bill Gates
Jobs are disappearing at a much faster rate than anyone imagined.
In 2013, policymakers generally disregarded the findings of two Oxford economists who predicted that 45 percent of all US occupations might be automated within the next two decades. However, that appears to be a foregone conclusion today.
5 million Americans are employed in transportation and warehousing.
Self-driving automobiles are on the verge of displacing a large number of human employment.
Currently, in the United States of America, there are:
Uber employs 600,000 drivers.
The world has 181,000 taxi drivers.
There are 168,000 transit bus drivers in the United States.
There are 505,000 school bus drivers in the United States.
Additionally, there are approximately 1 million truck drivers in the United States. Additionally, Uber recently acquired a self-driving truck firm.
As more jurisdictions legalize self-driving cars, we’ll see rapid automation of all of these driving occupations. If a one-time $30,000 truck refit can replace a human driver earning $40,000 a year, there will soon be a million jobless truckers.
Additionally, it is not just the drivers who are being replaced. Within the next few years, entire warehouses will be totally automated.
I strongly advise you to spend three minutes watching this video. It demonstrates how a fleet of small robots can easily take the place of a significant number of human warehouse workers.
Humans continue to work in those warehouses. Nonetheless, it’s only a matter of time before an automated system eventually replaces them as well.
Eight million Americans work as salesmen and cashiers in retail establishments.
Many of these jobs will be mechanized in the near future.
Amazon is piloting a shop model with essentially no staff. You in, take what you want, and exit.
A significant portion of sales is determining — or even forecasting — what a consumer will want. To be sure, Amazon earned $136 billion last year, and its “salespeople” are its recommendation engines powered by algorithms. Consider the impact on retail that Amazon will have if they integrate all of that artificial intelligence into brick-and-mortar businesses.
Restaurants employ 14 million people in the United States.
For decades, Japan has automated various areas of its restaurants, including order taking, food service, dishwashing, and even food preparation.
Additionally, America is acquiring certain automated restaurants.
Even a business manufactures delivery trucks that drive about and immediately begin preparing pizzas in response to customer orders.
Automation is a fact of life. However, there is still time to intervene and assist displaced workers.
Automation is advancing rapidly. Every day, the software that powers these robots becomes more powerful. We are powerless to halt it. However, we can adjust.
Bill Gates suggests that we charge robotic workers to recoup some of the income tax that displaced workers would have paid.
Elon Musk proposes that we implement universal basic income and pay everyone a certain amount of money each year in order to keep the economy afloat when millions of jobs are lost to automation.
And I propose that we redirect some of the government money currently used to subsidize businesses that are largely automated into preparing employees for upcoming engineering positions.
The solution to the automation conundrum may comprise a combination of these three strategies. However, we must act immediately to avoid the biggest unemployment calamity since the Great Depression.
I strongly recommend you to take the following three actions:
Please take the time to educate yourself about automation and its economic implications. This is the definitive work in the field.
Discuss automation with your family and friends. We cannot ignore it alone due to its frightening and unpredictable nature. We require a public debate on this issue in order to determine our course of action — before corporations and their bottom lines do.
Contact your elected officials and inquire about their plans to address automation and job loss. Inform them that we require a robot tax, a universal basic income, or increased investment in technology education — whichever option best fits your political views.
If we act quickly, we can still overcome the automation challenge and alleviate hardship for millions of Americans.