Some experts argue that it is not just lower-paying jobs that will be stressed by AI and other agents of automation. At an MIT conference a few months back, one researcher, Mary “Missy” Cummings, director of the Humans and Autonomy Lab at Duke University, noted that some plum positions are also on the endangered species list. Take commercial pilots, for example. These pilots, she explained, “touch the stick for three to seven minutes per flight and that’s on a tough day.” The rest of the time that flight is literally on autopilot. It doesn’t take a genius to see which way that wind is blowing. - Barb Darrow, Fortune
“This time the transition is likely to be faster, as technologies diffuse more quickly than they did 200 years ago. Income inequality is already growing, because high-skill workers benefit disproportionately when technology complements their jobs. This poses two challenges for employers and policymakers: how to help existing workers acquire new skills; and how to prepare future generations for a workplace stuffed full of AI.” No one can really tell if technology will once more end up creating more jobs than it destroys, or if this time will be different and AI will end up replacing many jobs, including high skill ones, while creating few new ones. But regardless, we cannot ignore the machinery question. Even if AI doesn’t lead to mass unemployment, technological advances are already disrupting labor markets and contributing to social unrest. - Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Wall Street Journal?