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The Problem with Blaming Robots for Taking Our Jobs


Robots performing data entry work rather than humans.

The future might have fewer jobs, but it probably will not be because of robots.

Credit: Getty Images

Automation looks a little different these days than it did in the the late 1940s, when Ford Motor Company VP Delmar Harder popularized the term. But the rhetoric around automation remains basically the same. Popular discourse alternates between a vision of benevolent machines—ones that could, say, carry out dangerous or gruelling tasks—and one of job-stealing robots.

Are robots really, finally, going to replace us? Two recent books—Aaron Benanav’s Automation and the Future of Work and Jason E. Smith's Smart Machines and Service Work: Automation in an Age of Stagnation—suggest that we should not believe the hype.

From The New Yorker
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