Posted by Kerzkideden.
he current discussion on automation is of the “robots-killing-jobs” variety. This alarmism is unsurprising. After all, most research to this point has focused on the introduction of robots into manufacturing, or on computer algorithms that automate routine tasks. These are changes that have replaced, and will continue to replace, jobs that many workers, families and communities have historically depended on. But if history is any guide, the technologies adopted in the workplace of the future may be quite different than those that were initially dominant. As
Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo(2019) suggest, the future of work and the workforce will depend on the balance between labor replacing technologies – those that supplant human brawn or rote repetition – and, in their language, labor reinstating technologies, that generate new tasks at which humans have a comparative advantage.
Labor Replacing vs. Labor Reinstating Technologies
The canonical example of a labor replacing technology is robots in car factories. Assembly lines, once consisting of a series of stations where five or six workers were responsible for installing or attaching a specific car part to a frame before it went to the next station,
often now feature a series of robotic appendages in place of humans. Today, this technology has largely supplanted direct human effort in constructing a car. History is replete with examples of these labor displacing technologies.
New technologies, such as the computer this piece was written on, have largely eliminated several occupations that were once common in the 20th century such as the typing pool. If advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are heavily weighted towards these types of technologies,
as some predict, the potential for substantial displacement of workers and further erosion of the labor share is quite high. But this is far from inevitable.
The development of technologies that facilitate new tasks, for which humans are better suited, could potentially lead to a much better future for workers. While the widespread introduction of computers into offices certainly displaced millions of secretaries and typists, the new tasks in associated industries meant new occupations, including computer technicians, software developers, and IT consultants.
Automation could destroy as many as 73 million U.S. jobs by 2030, but economic growth, rising productivity and other forces could more than offset the losses, according to a new report by McKinsey Global Institute.
“The dire predictions that robots are going to take our jobs are overstated,” says Susan Lund, the group’s director of research and co-author of the study. “There will be enough jobs for everyone in most sectors.”
What do you think about losing of jobs at the results of robot creation 2030?