Don’t get complacent about Amazon’s Robots: be optimistic instead!

In an article for the Technology Liberation Front, Adam Thierer of George Mason University becomes the latest academic to reassure us that AI and robots won’t steal our jobs. His article relies on three observations: First, Amazon is keen to automate its warehouses, but it is still hiring more humans. Second, ATMs didn’t destroy the jobs of human tellers. Third, automation has not caused widespread lasting unemployment in the past. Unfortunately, the first of these claims is true but irrelevant, the second is almost certainly false, and the third is both irrelevant and false. Amazon has automated much of what...
In the future, education may be vacational, not vocational

In the future, education may be vacational, not vocational

This post is co-written with Julia Begbie, who develops cutting-edge online courses as a director of a design college in London. Some people (including us) think that within a generation or two, many or most people will be unemployable because machines will perform every task that we can do for money better, faster and cheaper than we can. Other people think that humans will always remain in paid employment because we will have skills to offer which machines never will. These people usually go on to argue that humans will need further education and training to remain in work –...