Will Automation Take Away All Our Jobs?

It’s been awhile since we posted a TED Talk and this one caught our eye – “Will Automation Take Away All Our Jobs?” by David Autor.

A scary question for a manufacturing company to grapple with, this TED Talk discusses the future of work and the challenges that automation does and does not pose for our society.

In it, David Autor begins by drawing a paradox not often explored. Despite a century of creating machines to do our work for us, the proportion of adults in the US with a job has consistently gone up for the past 125 years. He then asks the question, “Why hasn’t human labor become redundant and our skills obsolete?”

Good question.

In this short, 18-minute video, the future of work is explored and its conclusion will leave you feeling enlightened and hopeful about job retention within the United States

Who is David Autor?

He is one of the leading labor economists in the world and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, also a Ford Professor of Economics and associate department head of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Economics (MIT). He also serves as a Faculty Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Why you should watch this.

He has published extensively in many major academic journals in economics. His best- known research analyzes how computerization substitutes for and complements human labor; asking how the rapid rise of import competition from China has reshaped U.S. manufacturing, upending the conventional economic wisdom that free trade is a free lunch.Will Automation Take Away All Our Jobs?

Ready to dig deeper?

David Autor recommends, “3 Questions: David Autor on global trade and political polarization: Study finds relationship between U.S. job losses due to trade, and political polarization in Congress” by Peter Pizikes.

Thanks TED Talks for continuing to provoke and persuade us to think beyond ourselves, analyzing the state of manufacturing for future generations.

What do you think?

Let us know in the comments below or on social media.