Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Key Insights: Expert Views on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs

Future of jobs



  • Experts say automation and intelligent digital agents will permeate vast areas of our work/personal lives by 2025
  • 52% of experts say tech advances will NOT displace more jobs than they create by 2025; 48% say they will
  • Many experts fear that the workforce is not being adequately prepared for tech changes on the horizon
  • Experts see tech changes resulting in new skills being valued, and a rethinking of the concept of work
  • Technological advances will change the industrial age notions of what a “job” is, experts say
  • “When the car was introduced, buggy whip makers went out of business. It will ever be so.”—Penn State professor

How fast is change coming?

  • Many experts see advances in AI and robotics pervading nearly every aspect of daily life by 2025
  • “The penetration of AI and robotics will be close to 100% in many areas”— Marc Prensky
  • By 2025 “All the fundamentals of life can and will be automated, from driving to grocery shopping”—@nilofer
  • “Self-driving cars seem very likely by 2025”—@vgcerf
  • Robots/AI will start to become “background noise” in peoples’ daily lives—@cascio
  • “The degree of integration of AI into daily life will depend very much, as it does now, on wealth”—Bill Woodcock
  • “We’re still a very long way from ‘AI’ as generally seen in the movies, i.e. humanoid robots”—@sethfinkelstein
  • “Automated cars will not make it into use—this is way harder than anybody is letting on”—a business professor

Reasons for optimism about the impact of technological change

  • Experts say tech advances will displace certain types of work, but historically they’ve been net creator of jobs
  • “Historically, technology has created more jobs than it destroys”—@vgcerf
  • “Every wave of automation and computerization has increased productivity w/o depressing employment”—@MichaelKende
  • A new wave of innovations and jobs will be created from the need to code/build new high tech tools—@MichaelKende
  • .@markoff wonders, who would’ve thought SEO would be a significant job category 15 years ago?
  • By 2025, “there is likely to be more human-robot collaboration,” says @MarjorySB
  • “For all the automation and AI, the ‘human hand’ will have to be involved on a large scale”—David Hughes
  • “An app can dial Mom’s number and even send flowers” but it can’t emotionally connect with her—@mediapsychology

Concerns about the impact of high-tech advances

  • Experts’ concern about tech advances: Automation has hit blue collar employment; white collar jobs will be next
  • “Automation is Voldemort: the terrifying force nobody is willing to name”—@jerrymichalski
  • Tech advances and jobs—“There is great pain down the road for everyone as new realities are addressed”—Mike Roberts
  • “Everything that can be automated will be automated.”—@cybertelecom
  • “Robots and AI threaten to make even some kinds of skilled work obsolete (e.g., legal clerks)”—@tomstandage
  • Tech will create new jobs, but there’ll be “losses in middle and gains of terrible jobs at the bottom”—@bjfr
  • Vytautas Butrimas expects social unrest between 2020 and 2025 because of jobs displaced by technology
  • “Skills needed to manage the AI will be highly specialized and out of the reach of 95% of people”—software engineer

The challenge of being ready for change

  • .@geoffliving on the impact of AI/Robotics: “The technology may be ready, but we are not—at least, not yet.”
  • “Only the best-educated humans will compete with machines” in the workplace—@hrheingold
  • .@BryanAlexander thinks the education system is not well positioned to shape grads to “race against the machines”
  • .@halvarian sees a future w/ fewer jobs due to tech advances but more equitable distribution of labor/leisure time

Challenges for policymakers

  • Experts say without policy shift, automation threatens to increase both unemployment and income inequality
  • “Just because there’s a technology that exists to replace jobs doesn’t mean it has to be adopted”—Ben Fuller
  • Decisions about using tech surrogates will be driven by culture/politics as much as practicality—@jonl
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