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What To Do When Machines Do Everything by Ben Pring, Paul Roehrig, Malcolm Frank

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3There Will Be Blood

So far, our narrative has been generally positive. We believe the new machines will help us move our companies and our economies from stall to boom. But this transition won't be without significant disruption in jobs. Metaphorically, there will be blood.

The rise of the new machine poses a difficult question: Is it a capitalist's dream or a worker's nightmare? Or both? At the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, many people are asking, “How many solid, middle-class office worker jobs will soon be eliminated?”

This is no abstract consideration, for there's probably a voice inside you wondering “Will new disruptive technologies take my job away? And, even if my job is safe, what about the ethical implications of automation sending many of my colleagues to the unemployment line?”

Predictions of Massive Job Losses via AI

No doubt such concerns have been amplified by recent headlines on the potential impact of AI on employment. After all, some predict that robotic automation will eliminate enormous portions of the workforce. Oxford University researchers have predicted as many as 47% of U.S. jobs could be automated away by 2025.1

There are about 160 million jobs in the entire U.S. workforce, so the Oxford prediction would mean roughly 75 million jobs would simply be gone.2 Extrapolated across the G7 industrialized nations, where there are roughly 368 million jobs, this would mean at least 173 million jobs would be eviscerated by the new machine within eight ...

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