The election of Donald Trump has gotten more experts talking about the automation's anticipated effect on the job market.
Jobs Vs. Automation
Computer scientist Moshe Vardi started a debate six months ago about the anticipated effect of automation on the job market, according to Geek Wire. As a no political candidate, the scientist was talking about the potential impact of automated manufacturing and autonomous cars on future employment.
Today, the topic became hot, after the election of Trump as the next U.S. president. Rice University's Vardi said that the debate went practically mainstream from being just somewhat esoteric. In fact, even Trump has made jobs a central issue of his agenda.
Trump said this week in a YouTube video that he wants the next generation of innovation and production to happen right in America, whether it's curing disease, building cars or producing steel. This is, in his opinion, the only way of creating jobs and wealth for Americans.
Trump's vision focuses on doubling down on fossil-fuel sources, renegotiating trade deals, cracking down on work visas and cutting back on regulations. But Even if Trump follows through on those initiatives, they won't address the fundamental shift that will transform the very nature of work in near future: the rise of artificial intelligence and robotics.
According to Vardi, stopping technology is not an option, but we all will need to deal with the implications of these technological advances for the labor force. Not doing anything about it will certainly have political consequences.
The key to Trump's narrow victory in this year's presidential election were the frustrations of dislocated manufacturing workers in America's Rust Belt. were seen as. Now, many of those workers are hoping that Trump's policies will bring back from foreign shores more of America's manufacturing base. But, according to Vardi, next-generation factories will create far fewer jobs.
According to Market Watch, even if U.S. manufacturing output is nearing an all-time high, the manufacturing employment has been falling for decades. The robotic revolution is expected to disrupt transportation, another large employment sector, due to the development of self-driving vehicles.
In a study published on news.rice.edu, Vardi forecasts that by 2050 around half of the world's population will be already out of the labor force. But others have a different perspective. A group known as Innovation for Jobs, or I4J, argues that a people-centered economy may rise from the disruption in employment created by automation.
The I4J group foresees an age when distributed work and smartphones can create a flexible, versatile work force. In their book, "Disrupting Unemployment," members of I4J write that the problem consists in that we are trying to run the new economy in the old way, rather than too much innovation or automation being an issue.
Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Seattle-based Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, said that, when it comes to the effect on employment, he distinguishes between automation and artificial intelligence (AI). According to him, the American economy lost already more jobs
"due to email (outsourcing, offshoring) than will be lost to AI." However, we still do need to take into consideration AI's impact on jobs and the Trump administration will have to balance appropriately the different considerations