Most Americans consider technology a bigger threat to jobs than immigration and outsourcing

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Although Americans worry about the threat that immigration and outsourcing pose to the nation’s jobs, most citizens are more concerned about the effects of new technologies. According to Gallup survey results released last week, 58 percent of respondents said AI, robotics, and automation would cause more job losses over the next ten years than new workers entering the country and companies moving overseas.

3297 Americans responded to the survey, which Gallop created in collaboration with Northeastern University. It was split into four categories: age, political party, education, and job type.

According to the results, white-collar workers (62 percent) and Democrats (67 percent) are the demographics most concerned about new tech eliminating jobs, though it’s worth noting that only 3 percent fewer blue-collar workers feel the same.

Those under 35 also think tech is more likely to cost people their livelihoods than outsourcing/immigration. 61 percent are concerned about technology’s effect on US jobs, whereas 39 percent chose immigration and offshoring as a bigger threat. For those over 35, 57 percent think automation will take more jobs, compared to 43 percent who believe otherwise.

The only category that saw technology as a lesser threat than immigration and offshoring was the Republicans, 52 percent of whom picked the latter option as their bigger concern.

The survey’s results match those of a similar study by Pew Research last year, which found that 72 percent of US adults are worried about a future where robots and computers replace humans in the workforce, but only 30 percent of those surveyed thought their jobs were under threat.

Despite the results, it seems that most people are still fans of technology and the benefits it can bring. 77 percent of respondents said they believed artificial intelligence would have a positive impact on their lives over the next ten years.

“It is clear that while Americans are optimistic about the positive impact that AI may have on people’s jobs and lives, many are also concerned about the short-term effect on jobs. However, the relatively low proportion of U.S. workers who are worried about their own jobs suggests some may be underestimating the likely impact of this technology,” reads the study’s conclusion.

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VitalyT

Russ-Puss
Americans worry ...
...about too many things, including an alien attack from space.

When a company opts for technology over people, the unemployed eventually unite and take the head of the company. That's how it works,....welcome to the revolution.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
It appears to me that the real danger is in not knowing which jobs are most affected and which career paths will be relatively safe. People can adapt IF they know which way to go. Some vocational jobs like plumbers and electricians will not easily adapt but industrial jobs like assembly which require relatively stationary systems are more likely. Those that require real judgement, while capable of being automated, will not be accepted by people that want human judgement to be the final decision maker.
 
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Raytrace3D

TS Addict
It appears to me that the real danger is in not knowing which jobs are most affected and which career paths will be relatively safe. People can adapt IF they know which way to go. Some vocational jobs like plumbers and electricians will not easily adapt but industrial jobs like assembly which require relatively stationary systems are more likely. Those that require real judgement, while capable of being automated, will not be accepted by people that want human judgement to be the final decision maker.
Similarly, as you mentioned, those in stationary jobs are also more at risk of automation. Plumbers and electricians would be far less likely at risk of losing their jobs to automation due to their mobility and range of skilled tasks. I work for an industrial robotics manufacturer and right now, jobs that center around repetitive tasks appear to be the main focus of many robotics manufacturers.
 
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Bubbajim

TechSpot Staff
Staff member
Americans worry ...
...about too many things, including an alien attack from space.

When a company opts for technology over people, the unemployed eventually unite and take the head of the company. That's how it works,....welcome to the revolution.
I think you might be a bit overly optimistic about worker and public organising power, particularly in the Age of Distraction.
 

VitalyT

Russ-Puss
I think you might be a bit overly optimistic about worker and public organising power, particularly in the Age of Distraction.
It is always driven by desperation. People get sick of the misery, they group together and take it out on somebody. That's how uprisals happen.
 

kombu

TS Addict
I like how the headline is worded: MOST AMERICANS vs. a small group known as Republicans. (And you know how they are.)
 
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