In a recent article, our good friends at the Brookings Institute offer their perspective on the recent trend of technophobia. The growing voice of concern that robots are soon to dominate the lower and even mid–skill level workforce is not what the evidence suggests. The efficiencies of automation do threaten to overtake some basic functions in industry but also have been present for decades. As automation becomes more cost effective and more deeply integrated into standard practice, there will be a need to repurpose some portion of the workforce. However, as the Brookings Institute article points out, the vast majority of US citizens were formerly employed on farms. Now that entire sector is mostly automated and the displaced workforce has moved into other areas where opportunity is available.
This is certainly going to be an interesting century with regards to the advancement of robotics and automation. In the end, we will all have to wait and see which side of the debate claims victory in Man vs. Machine.
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