Individual and Societal Impact

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As technology continues to grow, everyone from top economists to blue-collar workers question what will be the effect on employment. Many wonder: “If a machine can soon do my job, am I doomed to be out of work?” As with most issues, there are two sides. Machines are reaching/have reached the capability to do tasks that ordinarily employ people, which threatens certain job markets, but conversely AI creates job growth, particularly in technological fields (but also in non-tech fields). Positions most likely threatened by AI are routine jobs which often include basic information processing skills, whereas ones that require creativity are less likely to be displaced.

Economists often compare the growth of AI with the Industrial Revolution; however AI is growing at a more rapid rate. Historically technology has not hurt job markets in the long run; in fact it actually catalyzes job growth. Technological advances create jobs in new and different industries as well as spare a person of mindless tasks and allow them to work in a higher-level thinking environment. Humans have been resilient when it comes to jobs, and the move towards utilizing artificial intelligence, in many ways, pushes people towards developing uniquely human skills, fostering originality and exploration across a wide spectrum of industries.
Hannah Baer
George Washington University

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