“There are more than 6 million unfilled jobs in the U.S. Many of the unemployed lack skills for those jobs. Why?” asks Ross Kinzler, the award-winning, now actively-retired director of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA).
“Doesn’t the U.S. have government-operated training centers,” he asks, “for advanced skills currently called tech schools and universities? I suspect those schools turn out grads that meet the schools needs, not the economy’s needs.”
The concerns and research about the rising trend of automation, robotics and AI – Artificial Intelligence – is a hot topic for millions.
How real is the threat?
“Research conducted by the Oxford Martin School estimates that 86 percent of food service jobs are at high risk of being automated by 2030. So are 75 percent of transportation and warehousing jobs; 67 percent of real estate, rental, and leasing jobs; 67 percent of retail jobs; and 62 percent of manufacturing jobs,” per an article on TownHall.
“Many jobs will disappear because of AI. Computers make less errors, don’t take breaks, play on their phones, gossip or ignore customers. Progress,” said Kinzler.
Developments in AI and Robotics that may be a Threat to Jobs
Daily Business News readers might remember developments like Sophia, the human-looking robot that speaks, using artificial intelligence. Sophia admits that “people should question the consequences of new technology.”
In China – where labor abounds – Alibaba-owned warehouse called T-mall has learned that a degree of collaboration between humans and machines is needed. Their warehouse features 60 robots, called Zhu Que, which are Wi-Fi equipped and self-charging.
Since introducing the Zhu Que in July, warehouse production has tripled, per the Daily Mail.
Those robots, get instructions from Wi-Fi signals, which allows them to find the goods, pick them up, and move them to the appropriate place or human worker.
The Zhu Que is also outfitted with laser detection that keeps them from running into each other, something or some else.
“The robots need to collaborate with each other and work independently at the same time. They represent the highest level of China’s warehouse robots,” said Cainiao Logistics, an Alibaba branch that manages the warehouse.
The delivery-bots bring the goods to the workers to be sorted, instead of them needing to run all around the warehouse themselves.
Since the introduction of the Zhu Que, the human workers have been able to sort around twice the products in half the time, says the Daily Mail.
While there are some jobs today that cannot be replaced by automation and AI – at least not yet – the fact still remains that in the next couple decades, millions of jobs could be on the line.
If that happens, how will people without special training and expertise make a living? Who will replace the income tax dollars? What about the sales taxes generated from the incomes of human workers?
Artificial Intelligence and Automation Could Lead to New Social Issues
Pundits and experts on both sides of the political aisle say that every wave of previous technological advances always created some displacement, but new jobs opened up too.
A common example is the industrial revolution, which not only made it possible for fewer farm workers to do more, but created an opportunity for those farm workers to work in factories.
But will this time be different?
Kinzler told MHProNews that,
“AI creates societal issues that are deeper:
No real wage growth
Too many colleges turning out too few real productive grads
Immigration forcing down wages (see #1)
The coming split between the tech have’s ($1,100 Samsung Note 8) and the have not’s. (Banking at WalMart)”
Battle of the Billionaires
Elon Musk has warned government officials that AI and robotics poses a threat. Mark Zuckerberg publicly chided him for that, to which Musk sharply replied that Zuckerberg isn’t as informed as he may think.
Facebook’s founder Zuckerberg has proposed “universal income” to ease the concerns. But no one is seriously explaining where the money would come from that would make “universal income” a valid proposal.
If hiking the minimum wage creates problems, wouldn’t universal income be far worse?
It should be noted that Zuckerberg is exploring a presidential run as a Democrat in 2020. Is that why he is sounding more like a promise-making candidate than an Austrian School economist?
Is this Shift Coming Too Fast?
Musk isn’t alone.
Jack Ma – founder and executive chairman of the Alibaba Group – suggested that this latest industrial revolution could lead to a gap in the economy so drastic, that is could lead us right into World War III, as reported by the Inquisitr.
“The first technology revolution caused World War I. The second technology revolution caused World War II. This is the third technology revolution,” Ma said.
Note that these comments comes from the founder and chairman of the company who owns the warehouse in China that has just tripled production with the addition of the Zhu Que robots.
Ma’s business is involved in factory built housing in Asia.
As the Daily Business News has reported previously, Ma has U.S. plans and there are other potential disruptions for the factory-built home industry that could flow from AI, automation, and robotics.
Kinzler is worrying about the masses of people. Donald Tye Jr. and others are sounding off, and they will be part of a follow up planned on this emerging challenge.
“The scary part for me is the implication for the have’s and have not’s,” Kinzler said.
“I can’t believe it will take long before self-driving cars will have their own traffic lanes because engineers will argue if all of the cars in the road are self-driving, they can go faster and in a tighter formation…The short, quick routes in major cities will be the self-driving cars (rich), and city streets (slower) for the poor who drive their own car,” Kinzler told MHProNews.
Will lack of regulation lead to loss of jobs in the wake of AI and automation take over, and even potentially cause the loss of a balanced economy and eventually lead to WWIII?
“Just as MHProNews has been monitoring developing technologies,” said MH publisher and industry consultant L. A. ‘Tony” Kovach, “such as 3D printing for several years (linked here and here), we plan to track developments and industry responses to the emerging automation, AI, robotics and their related potential impact on factory-built housing, and society.”
The recent Daily Business News report on Sophia – see photo/graphic above – is linked here.
The Daily Business News article discussing Elon Musk’s warnings to regulate AI before it is too late – is linked here. # # (News, analysis.)
(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines).
Submitted by Julia Granowicz to Daily Business News at MHProNews.