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Giving Compass' Take:
• Brookings discusses the widespread anxiety that AI and automation will replace workers in the future, exploring the possible economic and political fallout from that.
• How can we help those who are most affected by technological advances? Can nonprofits encourage more worker training and STEM education?
There is widespread fear that robots and AI will take jobs and throw millions of people into poverty. A Pew Research Center study asked 1,896 experts about the impact of emerging technologies and found:
“half of these experts (48 percent) envision a future in which robots and digital agents [will] have displaced significant numbers of both blue- and white-collar workers—with many expressing concern that this will lead to vast increases in income inequality, masses of people who are effectively unemployable, and breakdowns in the social order.”
These fears have been echoed by detailed analyses showing anywhere from a 14 to 54 percent automation impact on jobs. For example, a Bruegel analysis found that “54% of EU jobs [are] at risk of computerization.” Using European data, they argue that job losses are likely to be significant and people should prepare for large-scale disruption.
Meanwhile, Oxford University researchers Carl Frey and Michael Osborne claim that technology will transform many sectors of life. They studied 702 occupational groupings and found that “47 percent of U.S. workers have a high probability of seeing their jobs automated over the next 20 years.”
While some dispute the dire predictions on grounds new positions will be created to offset the job losses, the fact that all these major studies report significant workforce disruptions should be taken seriously.
Read the full article about the fears over job loss from AI by Darrell M. West at Brookings.