It is very alarming to say automation or AI will not kill jobs, because it essentially draws people’s guard down to prepare for their welfare protection. It is much fair to say that automation or AI will change the landscape of job market.
Every new technology related to the job market has a potential to cause interruption to what we are used to. I agree that it will create new types of jobs, but it will also destroy some traditional jobs. Although people can claim that the net job gain could be positive, it is a great mistake to conclude that automation / AI would create jobs instead of killing jobs. This is like comparing apples against oranges. People cannot do a simple addition / subtraction of numbers to draw their conclusions!
Just look at the current US policy of reviving manufacturing and mining jobs. The major reason of those conservatives is that they want to bring the old jobs back. They resist to the landscape change of the job market, and refuse or decide not to transition to new types of jobs. Then, under this situation, can people and scholars still subtract the numbers of old jobs from new ones in their job gain calculation? They cannot! Some people may not want to change or unable to change due to various reasons. As a result, trying to keep those traditional jobs is creating unrest in the US economy and society. Conservatives ignore the fact that our history has shown it to be impossible to reverse job trend. Resisting just prolongs the pain to face the changes and slows down our country’s progress.
Therefore, I would like to encourage policymakers to consider universal income or automation / robot / AI tax to at least protect the welfare of future generations. Do not trust the claims of net job gain to slow down the need of our welfare protection.
Here is a sample of recent articles making the false claims. Do not follow them blindly.
- Will Automation Kill or Create Jobs?
- Why Automation Will Create, Not Destroy, Jobs
- The Bright Side of Job-Killing Automation