“60 Minutes” aired a segmentabout how robots are killing our jobs. “Technological unemployment” is what correspondent Steve Kroft called it.
According to MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, one of the reasons for the jobless recovery is that we now have robots and software programs doing the “middle-skilled” work that humans used to do.
Robots today can fetch items on a factory floor and software programs can answer phones and, using voice recognition technology, even answer questions.
But, Google chairman Eric Schmidt dismisses that idea, reports Myra Saefong at the Wall Street Journal.
Schmidt said technology will create job opportunities for humans in the future, just like it did in the past. He was speaking on Monday at the National Association for Business Economics in San Francisco.
Schmidt called automation a “collaboration model” in which machines and humans increasingly work together, each doing their specialised tasks.
He also sees technology as the only way to create future growth.
That’s part of the premise of the book Schmidt recently co-wrote with Google Ideas’ Jared Cohen called “The New Digital Age.” However, even in the book, Schmidt wrote that technology could cause the labour market to go global. That means people living in Orange County, Calif. could be competing for jobs with workers in Uruguay.
So looks like more jobs are coming, but, perhaps, so are more trained workers.
Here’s the full “60 Minutes” segment: