Economists worry we aren’t prepared for the fallout from automation

Economists worry we aren’t prepared for the fallout from automation

Too much time discussing whether robots can take your job; not enough time discussing what happens next

Are we focusing too much on analyzing exactly how many jobs could be destroyed by the coming wave of automation, and not enough on how to actually fix the problem? That’s one conclusion in a new paper on the potential effects of robotics and AI on global labor markets from US think tank, the Center for Global Development (CGD).

The paper’s authors, Lukas Schlogl and Andy Sumner, say it’s impossible to know exactly how many jobs will be destroyed or disrupted by new technology. But, they add, it’s fairly certain there are going to be significant effects — especially in developing economies, where the labor market is skewed toward work that requires the sort of routine, manual labor that’s so susceptible to automation. Think unskilled jobs in factories or agriculture.

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