There’s an ongoing debate around whether technology, AI, and Robotics will displace more jobs than it creates or create more jobs than it displaces. The latest research from Pew tries to help answer that question by surveying around 1,900 experts. Not surprisingly the results were close. 48% say scenario one is more likely (more jobs replaced than created by 2025) and 52% say scenario two is more likely (more jobs created than replaced by 2025).
The report broke down key themes around which to be hopeful and key themes around reasons to be concerned.
Reasons to be hopeful
- Advances in technology may displace certain types of work, but historically they have been a net creator of jobs.
- We will adapt to these changes by inventing entirely new types of work, and by taking advantage of uniquely human capabilities.
- Technology will free us from day-to-day drudgery, and allow us to define our relationship with “work” in a more positive and socially beneficial way.
- Ultimately, we as a society control our own destiny through the choices we make.
Key themes: reasons to be concerned
- Impacts from automation have thus far impacted mostly blue-collar employment; the coming wave of innovation threatens to upend white-collar work as well.
- Certain highly-skilled workers will succeed wildly in this new environment—but far more may be displaced into lower paying service industry jobs at best, or permanent unemployment at worst.
- Our educational system is not adequately preparing us for work of the future, and our political and economic institutions are poorly equipped to handle these hard choices.
You can read through the whole report or download a pdf version by visiting Pew research.
I’m curious to hear what you think. Will technology create more jobs than it replaces or vice versa?
(Cross-posted @ The Future Workplace)