Home News Automation could drastically change the landscape of labor. But who loses in...

Automation could drastically change the landscape of labor. But who loses in an increasingly high-tech world?



Leaps in technological advancements have increased human productivity and raised the quality of life for the world’s labor force, but many leaders are growing concerned that automation will soon leave workers out of a job.

Since the dawn of the modern workforce, automation has continued to change how Americans make a living. Nowadays, around half of the checkout lanes at local grocery stores are dedicated to self-service checkout machines, reducing the need for cashiers. The movies currently playing in theaters owned by major U.S. companies now run on digital projectors, rendering movie reel projectionists a footnote in history.

For generations, employees have been able to ride the ever-changing labor environment, shifting into new job roles when other roles are no longer needed. However, many other American workers may have reasons to worry.

One-quarter of U.S. jobs are at “high-risk” of automation, according to a study released in January 2019 by the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank. The study, titled “Automation and Artificial Intelligence: How Machines Affect People and Places,” found that another 36% of jobs are at a “medium-risk” of being manned by a machine instead of a wage-earning human.

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