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Another warning. The world is about to run low on JOBS as automation takes over
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More data and more warnings. The fourth industrial revolution has started. It will be jobless and many people will lose their employment, or be forced to compete for their jobs. The result is, you will probably be unemployed, or accept low wages to survive.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Just a few years ago, forecasters issued a dire warning. The world's workers are in danger of running out of work. As the fourth industrial revolution revs up, artificial intelligence (A.I.) and robots will take up jobs without creating new ones to replace the old. Unemployment will worsen, not improve, and wages will fall to subsistence levels for most workers. And a surprising number of industries will be impacted, including many where we assume human judgement and creativity are essential.
We expect factory workers to face trouble. We expect people in low-skill, repetitive jobs to face declining prospects. We do not expect accountants, lawyers, doctors and even teachers to face the same outlook. But the fourth industrial revolution has arrived and no job is safe. Even journalists are about to be outsourced as the first robot news writers take to the web at the end of this year.
Historically, industrial revolutions have created new industries. People displaced from farms found work in factories. Later, as steel and electricity became ubiquitous, they found work on railroads and assembly lines. And finally, they found work in the tech industry. But this time, there is no work to be found.
Per a study by Oxford University, 47 percent of all jobs face elimination soon. Probably less than two percent will find work in the new industry.
Because of these grim numbers, white papers have been published and government officials briefed. The fourth industrial revolution will be marked by high, unprecedented unemployment. Bankers and government officials as well as high Wall Street investors need to prepare themselves to weather the coming storm.
The average person on the street does not know this is coming. Most don't believe it. And among those that do know it's coming, many refuse to believe that new jobs won't be created. Very few people appreciate the scope of what is starting to happen.
Most assume automation cannot impact their career. Yet research suggests that even education is no hedge against the coming changes.
Automation has been encroaching on labor since the 1970's. However, what we have seen so far will pale in comparison to what is coming. Already in China, entire factories are becoming fully automated without any human involvement at all. Robot servers are delivering food at restaurants. As more people are "involuntarily separated" from their jobs (read: laid off), competition for the remaining jobs will increase. This will put downward pressure on wages.
Eventually, even people who keep their jobs will face falling wages, not rising incomes.
As the fourth industrial revolution begins, we will have to answer key questions about the role of government in sustaining people as work becomes increasingly difficult to obtain. What do we do with millions and billions of people for whom there are no jobs?
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