We’ll always have to worry about Mr. Steal Your Girl, but when it comes to robots, Mr. Steal Your Job isn’t an immediate threat.
That’s according to a new MIT report on the future of work, which suggests that the idea emerging technologies will cause widespread job elimination is somewhat overhyped.
- The authors say that overall, similar to past technology-induced labor shifts, automation will both eliminate and create jobs—maybe even at relatively similar rates.
- “The adoption and deployment of these technologies take time, and we’re just at the beginning of a 30- to 40-year cycle,” said Elisabeth Reynolds, the task force’s executive director, according to Axios.
In prepping for the robot takeover, there’s still a lot of work to be done: making big changes to labor policies, reskilling and retraining workers, and securing more federal investment in R&D.
Bottom line: AI, robotics, and other emerging tech will continue to advance. If today’s labor market—and the institutions behind it—don’t catch up, the MIT report’s authors argue, “we will see similar effects to recent decades: downward pressure on wages, skills, and benefits, and an increasingly bifurcated labor market.”