AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs

An interesting piece from the Pew Research Center on AI.

Our robot masters may not need us at all. They are planning on taking over both the menial and administrative work.

From the article:

The economic impact of robotic advances and AI—Self-driving cars, intelligent digital agents that can act for you, and robots are advancing rapidly. Will networked, automated, artificial intelligence (AI) applications and robotic devices have displaced more jobs than they have created by 2025?

Half of these experts (48%) envision a future in which robots and digital agents 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.

Key themes: 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.

http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/08/06/future-of-jobs/