A PEW Resarch survey shows a majority of people around the world feel robots and AI will make it harder to find work, and increase the gap between rich and poor (Gerard Julien-AFP-Getty Images)

Robots and AI may take your job

New survey shows worldwide worry

Think about it, when driverless vehicles come on-stream, what happens to literally millions of bus drivers, taxi drivers, and the huge variety of truck and delivery drivers. And that’s just the start.

Vast numbers of manufacturing jobs have been lost and continue to be lost as companies add computerised robots.  In fact it has already led to a new term called “lights out” manufacturing with entire computerised plants running with virtually no human intervention as humans may need light to see what they’re doing, but robots don’t.

Robot assembly at a Ford van plant in Missouri. The PEW research report say a human worker can cost an average of about $40/hour, a robot about $4/hour increasing the pressure to increase automation, and reduce the labour force. (Dave Kaup-Reuters)

Bank tellers were being replaced by ATM’s and now mobile phone apps are replacing both. Self checkouts are beginning to replace cashiers, AI is already making inroads into  all kinds of jobs from paralegal to journalism.

A new study from the Pew Research Centre shows people in countries around the world are worried about their job future.

By the end of 2016 there were 255,000 self-checkout machines in stores around the world. Every machine means one less taxpaying person being employed.(CBC)

The concern seems to be relatively equally shared among men and women. A majority feel that automation will make it harder for ordinary people to find jobs, more that 80 per cent of respondents in Canada, Greece, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and more than 70 per cent in  Hungary, Poland, Italy and Japan.

Many also feel the trend toward automation and AI will only serve to widen the inequality between rich and poor.

The often heard comment that it will lead to more, new jobs is also something that a majority of people doubt.

A ‘female’ robot waiter delivers meals for customers at robot-themed restaurant Onin Yiwu, Zhejiang province of China (VCG-Getty Images- via CBC)

As to who is responsible for preparing the workforce for the new and changing future, except for the U.S., people feel, the government, schools, and individuals themselves share responsibility in that order, although in figures not greatly different. with employers generally listed fourth in responsibility.

The U.S seems unique in that a clear majority think individuals are responsible for preparing for the future with the government listed as a distant fourth.

additional information – sources

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