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Education is not an adequate defense against the rise of the robots.


Stashed in: Education!, Robot Jobs

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Martin Ford offers no solutions, just the observation and theory:

The fact that high-skill jobs are disappearing leaves aside a second, obvious problem: not everyone in our workforce is destined to become a rocket scientist. Only a minority of the population has the combination of cognitive capability and motivation necessary to excel in technical fields. There is very likely a fundamental limit to the percentage of our workforce that we can expect to graduate from college and then take on a job that requires genuinely high levels of intellectual ability or creativity. In other words, even if the jobs at the top of the skills ladder were there in sufficient numbers, we would still ultimately have a serious problem finding a role for a large fraction of our workforce.

The hard truth is that the traditional solution to unemployment and poverty—and the solution that nearly all analysts and policy makers continue to support—is not going to be sufficient in the robotic age. Education has incalculable value both on a personal level, and as a public good that benefits society as a whole. For those reasons, we should continue to strongly support it and invest in it. We should not, however, expect ever more schooling to assure workers a foothold in the future economy.