A warning from Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Stephen Hawking

[Note: Be sure to checkout some of the videos that are linked to in the article. For instance, the one about ‘AmazonGo’. DLH]

A warning from Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Stephen Hawking
By Quincy Larson
Feb 19 2017
<https://medium.freecodecamp.com/bill-gates-and-elon-musk-just-warned-us-about-the-one-thing-politicians-are-too-scared-to-talk-8db9815fd398&gt;

“The automation of factories has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining.” — Stephen Hawking
There’s a rising chorus of concern about how quickly robots are taking away human jobs.

Here’s Elon Musk on Thursday at the the World Government Summit in Dubai:

“What to do about mass unemployment? This is going to be a massive social challenge. There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better [than a human]. These are not things that I wish will happen. These are simply things that I think probably will happen.” — Elon Musk
And today Bill Gates proposed that governments start taxing robot workers the same way we tax human workers:

“You cross the threshold of job-replacement of certain activities all sort of at once. So, you know, warehouse work, driving, room cleanup, there’s quite a few things that are meaningful job categories that, certainly in the next 20 years [will go away].” — Bill Gates
Jobs are vanishing much faster than anyone ever imagined.

In 2013, policy makers largely ignored two Oxford economists who suggested that 45% of all US jobs could be automated away within the next 20 years. But today that sounds all but inevitable.

Transportation and warehousing employ 5 million Americans

Those self-driving cars you keep hearing about are about to replace a lot of human workers.

Currently in the US, there are:

• 600,000 Uber drivers
• 181,000 taxi drivers
• 168,000 transit bus drivers
• 505,000 school bus drivers

There’s also around 1 million truck drivers in the US. And Uber just bought a self-driving truck company.

As self driving cars become legal in more states, we’ll see a rapid automation of all of these driving jobs. If a one-time $30,000 truck retrofit can replace a $40,000 per year human trucker, there will soon be a million truckers out of work.

And it’s not just the drivers being replaced. Soon entire warehouses will be fully automated.

I strongly recommend you invest 3 minutes in watching this video. It shows how a fleet of small robots can replace a huge number of human warehouse workers.

There are still some humans working in those warehouses, but it’s only a matter of time before some sort of automated system replaces them, too.

8 million Americans work as retail salespeople and cashiers.

Many of these jobs will soon be automated away.

Amazon is testing a type of store with virtually no employees. You just walk in, grab what you want, and walk out.

[snip]

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