Who is winning the race for jobs between robots and humans? Last year, two leading economists described a future in which humans come out ahead. But now they’ve declared a different winner: the robots.
The industry most affected by automation is manufacturing. For every robot per thousand workers, up to six workers lost their jobs and wages fell by as much as three-fourths of a percent, according to a new paper by the economists, Daron Acemoglu of M.I.T. and Pascual Restrepo of Boston University. It appears to be the first study to quantify large, direct, negative effects of robots.
These effects are only “negative” effects because of the way our society currently works. Nobody is going to stop automation, but automation is going to make our capitalist systems wholly and deeply untenable. Those countries who recognise and adapt to this fact the earliest, will be the ones coming out on top once the dust settles.
Countries that look backwards and thereby artificially stunt their economic growth by investing in wholly outdated and destructive industries… Well. Good luck.