American businessman Marc Cuban warned that "automation is going to cause unemployment and we need to be ready for that," after pointing out that the Trump administration does "not understand technology advancements."
"But there are many people whose jobs are to drive. In fact I think it might be the single largest employer of people ... Driving in various forms. So we need to figure out new roles for what do those people do, but it will be very disruptive and very quick," Musk said.
Musk, among others, has been speaking about ways to deal with the displacement, including a growing chorus of voices in the technology industry calling for a universal basic income.
Not everyone agrees. The Editorial Board of the New York Times thinks that blaming robots is "a distraction from real problems and real solutions," and instead goes straight to pointing fingers at politicians.
While breakthroughs could come at any time, the problem with automation isn’t robots; it’s politicians, who have failed for decades to support policies that let workers share the wealth from technology-led growth.
The response in previous eras was quite different.
When automation on the farm resulted in the mass migration of Americans from rural to urban areas in the early decades of the 20th century, agricultural states led the way in instituting universal public high school education to prepare for the future. At the dawn of the modern technological age at the end of World War II, the G.I. Bill turned a generation of veterans into college graduates.
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|“The number of human employees may even drop to 20 someday.”|
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|“That science fiction future where robots can do what people and animals do may be closer than you think.”|
|“Human and animal cells can be 3D printed into high-resolution tissue.”|
|“This conversation about how technology is hijacking people is really catching on.”|
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|“Nobody is forcing the participants to stay, of course, but if they leave, they won’t be paid.”|
|“Eliminating the time needed to stop and re-charge a conventional electric car’s battery.”|
|“Our Internet handlers, not government, are using operant conditioning to modify our behaviour today.”|
|“We’re going to start to see chip implants get the same realm of acceptance as piercings and tattoos.”|
|“During this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary 'fascism'.”|
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|“The shift from fuel and pistons to batteries and electric motors is unlikely to take that long.”|
|“This 160-step biochemical process is very well studied, and surprisingly inefficient.”|