Yesterday, the McKinsey Global Institute released a new report called, “Harnessing Automation for a Future that Works.” This report comes after SIIA released its own report titled, “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work” which touches on many of the same issues. Similar to the SIIA report, it found that the adoption of automation carries significant benefits that outweigh the costs.
In 2013, two Oxford economists estimated that occupations accounting for 47% of all U.S. employment were at risk of automation. The McKinsey report states that more accurate assessment of the impact of automation on work is by looking at the impact by activity rather than the entire occupation. By its assessment, only less than 5% of occupations can be fully automated with today’s technology. Though, looking at automation via activity instead of by occupation, roughly half of all activities worldwide could be automated, totaling roughly $16 t ...
Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a screening of 21st Century Fox’s “Hidden Figures.” This is a great movie about the critical contributions made by three African-American women – Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson - to put John Glenn into space in the early 1960s. The movie depicts the struggles these women faced to be treated equally as the consummate professionals they were at a time when the state of Virginia still enforced segregation laws. It is a wonderful and uplifting story about a mostly unexplored but important dimension of American history. Go see it!
There is an interesting sub-plot to the movie, which has to do with the usually somewhat dry – at least on the big screen - topic of automation and jobs. Johnson, Vaughn and Jackson were hired by NASA to be human “computers.” Part of Johnson’s job was to calculate John Glenn’s exact landing zone in ...
The labor economist David Autor opens a recent TED talk with a startling fact: in the 45 years since the introduction of the Automatic Teller Machine, bank teller jobs have roughly doubled, from a quarter of a million to half a million. Since 2000, financial institutions have created 100,000 new bank teller jobs.
This was first published as an InfoWorld IDG Contributor Network Tech Policy Perspectives column.
Occupations accounting for 47% of all U.S. employment are at risk of computerization, and this isn’t decades away: It could happen over the next 10 to 20 years.
In his latest column, The New Yorker’s Financial Page writer, James Surowiecki makes the Case for Free Money. Why, he asks, don’t we have universal basic income? It may be, he thinks, “an idea whose time has come.”
He notes that the work disincentive under a universal basic income is mild – in Canada’s Manitoba experiment in the 1970s working hours for men dropped only 1%. Other measures of well-being improved markedly. Teenagers stayed in school and hospitalization rates declined. So what’s not to like?