True success of ‘robotics revolution’ hinges on training and education
I buy this argument, and it’s more subtle than the recent 60 Minutes piece. Does the influx of robotics lead to more or fewer jobs? 60 Minutes says fewer jobs. In contrast, Henrik Christensen says more jobs. The difference is education. There are fewer lower-education jobs, but more higher-education jobs. So unless you ramp up education, it is fewer jobs.
That’s not to say the transition to this brave new world of robotics will be painless. Short-term upheaval is inevitable. For Exhibit A, look at the jobless recovery we find ourselves in today: Increased productivity has driven economic growth, yet unemployment rates remain stubbornly high. But most insiders seem to agree that if we look past the short term, the medium- and long-term benefits of the robotics revolution appear to be positive, not just in terms of economic growth but for job creation, too.
They also warn that the job creation part will require a keen focus on training and education for those low-skilled workers who get squeezed out of their jobs by robotics. Collectively, we ignore this warning at our own peril.