Nearly three-quarters of Americans worry about machines taking human jobs

midian182

Posts: 6,672   +59
Staff member

Machines that can replace human workers have been around for a very long time, but we’re at the point now where there are few jobs that can't be performed by computers. Occupations that had been considered safe, such as drivers, could become automated within a couple of decades, and people are concerned about the prospect.

According to a new Pew Research study, 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.

More worry than optimism about potential developments in automation

Americans view certain professions to be more at risk from automation than others. Fast food worker was considered the most likely job to be replaced by a machine, while those in the nursing industry were thought to be least vulnerable.

Americans view certain professions as being at greater risk of automation than others

Interestingly, a number of people say they have already been affected by workforce automation. 2 percent of adults say they have lost jobs because their positions were taken by a machine or computer, while 5 percent said they lost pay and hours for similar reasons.

Young Americans especially likely to have been impacted by workforce automation

A lot of the survey focuses on autonomous vehicles. Although the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee approved a bill to expedite the process of getting self-driving cars to market, it seems most Americans — 55 percent — wouldn’t ride in one. Additionally, 87 percent of those surveyed said they favored a requirement that all self-driving vehicles have a human in the driver’s seat who can take control in the event of an emergency.

Driverless vehicle enthusiasts differ dramatically in their views and attitudes toward this technology from those who are more hesitant

75 percent of survey participants think the cars will bring benefits, such as helping the elderly and disabled live more independent lives, but 81 percent believe those who drive for a living will experience job losses when the vehicles arrive.

One of the biggest questions regarding self-driving cars is when can we expect them to become a common sight on our roads. Only 9 percent of people believe most vehicles will be autonomous within the next ten years, while 65 percent expect it to happen in the next 50 years.

Roughly two-thirds of Americans expect most cars to be driverless in next half century

Permalink to story.

 

Reehahs

Posts: 1,161   +796
I like the enthusiasm of 8% who answered 'never happen' for driver less cars, they will go the way of horse carriage drivers.
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

Posts: 8,645   +3,289
For those who are worried, then perhaps it's time they considered switching to doing something else. If their jobs can be already be done by a robot, then they're already redundant and a liability to whoever employs them. I'm retired and billions of computers have followed suit yet I'm not worried about being replaced by one. Should I be? ;)
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

Posts: 8,645   +3,289
This will increasingly not be an option for people in the future.
I dunno. Desperate times call for desperate measures and you'll be surprised just how innovative some people can be when they're up against it. Naturally some will fall into a state of despair but a lot will rally and emerge far better off than they previously were.
 
D

davislane1

I dunno. Desperate times call for desperate measures and you'll be surprised just how innovative some people can be when they're up against it. Naturally some will fall into a state of despair but a lot will rally and emerge far better off than they previously were.

IQ bell curve. The higher the threshold for basic competition (e.g. the ability to establish a sufficient income) the higher the number of people who will struggle to achieve it. People will likely shift to trade schools temporarily, once the robots "take over", until supply gets saturated and eliminates the money incentive (not unlike what's happened with several college degrees/higher ed in general).

After that, expect either a radical shift in the use of robots and/or the emergence of a "living wage" as the politic de jure.