The robots are coming, but not necessarily for your job
Submitted by David J. Rosen on September 11, 2019 - 8:39am
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Preliminary findings have been released from an M.I.T. "Work of the Future" Task Force. The meta-analysis findings and recommendations from the research of twenty Boston University researchers may be of interest. Here are a few tantalizing bits from an online article today from radio station WBUR in Boston (bolding is mine):
- "...the likelihood that robots, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will completely wipe out large swaths of the workforce is exaggerated"
- "There's no doubt technology will impact jobs, but researchers say there is a larger concern when it comes to the future of work: Increasing inequality. And the impact of that inequality has given workers legitimate concerns about the role of technology in the future."
- "From 1973 to 2016, labor productivity rose by 75%, but workers' compensation only rose by 12%, the report found. And the stagnant earnings hit people of color particularly hard."
- "Technology has contributed to "employment polarization" by making highly educated workers more productive and less educated workers easier to replace"
- "---technology isn't the only factor in this polarization. Trade, tax policies and the weakening of collective bargaining have also contributed to inequality"
- "...a critical challenge for the future is not necessarily a lack of jobs, but the low quality of jobs. For example, according to the report, 92% of Americans born in 1940 earned more money than their parents, but only about half of people born in 1980 can say the same when adjusted for inflation."
- One of the preliminary report's major recommendations: "To that end, the report recommends more skills training, particularly for workers without college degrees. The report points to community colleges, apprenticeship programs and online education as important focus areas for such training investments."
- "The U.S. should also focus on becoming leaders in technology by investing heavily in AI, machine learning and robotics, the report said. This is an area where China has already made great strides."
Your reactions here to this preliminary report, of course, are welcome. You may wonder why part of the last bullet is in bold. Upcoming in the Integrating Technology and Program Management groups sometime in the next couple of months is a week-long expert panel discussion on Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality and their possible roles in adult basic skills education. Stay tuned for more.
David J. Rosen, Moderator
LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management grous