Hate to agree with him but Bill is right.
LinkMicrosoft cofounder Bill Gates isnâ€™t going to sugarcoat things: The increasing power of automation technology is going to put a lot of people out of work. Business Insider reports that Gates gave a talk at the American Enterprise Institute think tank in Washington, DC this week and said that both governments and businesses need to start preparing for a future where lots of people will be put out of work by software and robots.
â€œSoftware substitution, whether itâ€™s for drivers or waiters or nursesâ€¦ itâ€™s progressing,â€� Gates said. â€œTechnology over time will reduce demand for jobs, particularly at the lower end of skill setâ€¦ 20 years from now, labor demand for lots of skill sets will be substantially lower. I donâ€™t think people have that in their mental model.â€�
As for what governments should do to prevent social unrest in the wake of mass unemployment, the Microsoft cofounder said that they should basically get on their knees and beg businesses to keep employing humans over algorithms. This means perhaps eliminating payroll and corporate income taxes while also not raising the minimum wage so that businesses will feel comfortable employing people at dirt-cheap wages instead of outsourcing their jobs to an iPad.
And itâ€™s not just â€œlow-skilledâ€� workers who will have to worry about automation. As Business Insider points out, The Economist earlier this year predicted that high-paying jobs such as accountants, real estate sales agents and commercial pilots would all lose their jobs to software within the next 20 years.
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