Giving Compass' Take:

· The authors discuss how advances made in artificial intelligence and automation will have ongoing consequences for America's working class, limiting employment opportunities and increasing job insecurity.

· How is artificial intelligence predicted to affect the middle class? What fields will it take over? 

· Here's more on preparing the American middle class for the rise of automation.

The long-run labor market consequences of advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and other forms of automation technology remain uncertain. This uncertainty stems from a recognition that while many jobs will undoubtedly be affected, it is difficult to predict which jobs are at risk and in which sectors new jobs will be created.  This is not an idle concern: One in six Americans think that robots and computers will take over many jobs now done by humans; only 25% believe that automation will bring new, better paying jobs. And the estimates of jobs at risk are quite variable.

For example, a 2017 McKinsey Global Institute study suggests that roughly 50% of work activities are automatable using current technologies.  Another study by Frey and Osborne (2013) argues that 47% of U.S. employment is at high risk of automation. By contrast, a study by Arntz et al. (2017) suggests that only 9% of individuals have jobs that are at high risk. Of course, as we have noted previously, even if the share of jobs at risk is quite high, other barriers such as adoption or transition costs for firms potentially limit the speed and severity of displacement. Regardless, employers and policymakers need credible information to make good decisions, especially when seeking to mitigate harm when worker displacements occur. To understand better where the difficulties arise in predicting the future of work, it is important to revisit both the promise and peril of automation technologies and AI.

Read the full article about how automation will impact the middle class by Marcus Casey and Sarah Nzau at The Brookings Institution.