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Bylund: Robots Will Take Many of Our Jobs – and That's Good

08/04/2015

Per Bylund writes in The Orange County Register:  

New technologies fascinate us – from the precision of robotic surgery to the potential of Amazon dropping packages on our doorsteps via drone. But at the same time, there is anxiety over robots and artificial intelligence making human labor unnecessary and, ultimately, replacing us.

Fear of the changes innovation brings is nothing new, and the reality is that robots will eventually replace us in many or most of today’s jobs and that’s, in fact, a glorious thing.

Yes, jobs will be destroyed by innovation, as they’ve always been, but it doesn’t mean we’ll run out of jobs. New ones will be created as new technologies are developed, engineered and maintained. And, overall, these will be better, more high-skilled jobs. The agriculture industry provides a case in point.

Farming used to employ plenty of manual labor to do very physical work. But today, technological innovation – from basic tractors to complex irrigation systems – has not only eliminated backbreaking tasks but has also created new, more-skilled jobs. In fact, there are so many jobs in agriculture due to the increasing intricacy of the industry that approximately 60,000 positions remain vacant. Much of the work has moved out of the fields and into labs, where microbiologists, meteorologists and veterinarians all play an important role in getting safe foods to tables across the country. And these jobs requiring higher skills also pay higher salaries.

Read the full article. 

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