Technology and innovation are something of a double-edged sword. On one side, there are great advances in science, technology, and medicine. On the other, there is the fear of what advancing technology will do to the human workforce.
Automation is touted as being a great way to be more efficient, save money, and improve quality. But what does that mean for workers? According to the McKinsey Global Institute, it means that millions of people could find themselves without jobs. In 2018, it was estimated that in the next 10-15 years, automation will displace and replace workers at startling rates.
Currently, there are 36 million people in the United States working jobs that could be affected by automation and artificial intelligence (AI). Even the Trump Administration has weighed in on the need for balance as automation increases and workers find themselves looking for jobs.
Experts recommend the following strategies:
- Focus on technology and automation that creates jobs, rather than ends them.
- The U.S. government can increase R&D spending on technologies that are ethical and humane.
- Investing in global leadership will create jobs on a broader scale.
Community efforts to help displaced workers find alternative employment or training.
- Promote a learning mindset that helps workers learn new skills as jobs are changed or phased out.
- Policymakers must focus on reducing financial uncertainty among workers who are forced into lower-paying jobs.
- Policymakers must help offset local impacts through community support and boosting new job opportunities.
Ultimately, it all comes down to balancing advancements and support for the human element of the U.S. workforce.