Technology

Will Robots Create Unemployable Masses?

This March 19, 2013, file photo shows the iCub robot trying to catch a ball during the Innorobo European summit, an event dedicated to the service robotics industry, in Lyon, central France. The iCub robot, created by the Italian Institute of Technology, is used for research into human cognition and artificial intelligence. Robots and artificial intelligence could create a near-dystopian income gap, kill all low-skill jobs, or have little impact over the next decade. That according to nearly 2,000 experts surveyed for a new study from Pew Research Center’s Internet Project and Elon University's Imagining the Internet Center. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, File)
This March 19, 2013, file photo shows the iCub robot trying to catch a ball during the Innorobo European summit, an event dedicated to the service robotics industry, in Lyon, central France. The iCub robot, created by the Italian Institute of Technology, is used for research into human cognition and artificial intelligence. Robots and artificial intelligence could create a near-dystopian income gap, kill all low-skill jobs, or have little impact over the next decade. That according to nearly 2,000 experts surveyed for a new study from Pew Research Center’s Internet Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, File)

(STL Today) – The good news, according to a study released this week, is that a majority of tech experts canvassed by the Pew Research Center Internet Project don’t think robots are going to displace too many jobs by 2025.

The bad news is that this majority — 52 percent — is ever so slight.

Forty-eight percent of the nearly 1,900 industry experts, Internet analysts and tech enthusiasts queried by the research organization imagine a more dystopian future, one in which robots and “digital agents” have displaced many jobs and where there are “vast increases in income inequality, masses of people who are effectively unemployable, and breakdowns in the social order,” according to the report.

Yikes.

“There was a group of people who took the economic view — technology has been shifting and changing jobs since the Industrial Revolution, and there’s no reason to think this will change with the new wave of advances,” says Aaron Smith, a senior researcher at Pew and a co-author of the report.

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