FILE - This Monday, Aug. 1, 2016 file photo shows the humanoid robot “Alter” on display at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo. Understanding humor may be one of the last things that separates humans from ever smarter machines, computer scientists and linguists say. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Are robots coming for your jobs? This think tank says no

Artificial intelligence, robots, won’t necessarily displace workers

Although robots are coming, Canadians shouldn’t worry about them taking their jobs, according to the Fraser Institute.

In a series of essays released Tuesday, writers said that not only would robots take on new jobs that workers couldn’t imagine today, but that robots may fill in gaps left by retiring baby boomers.

“The growth of technology combined with a shrinking labour force may actually produce a shortage of qualified workers in Canada, rather than the widespread unemployment predicted by doomsayers,” said Fraser Institute senior fellow and essay author Livio Di Matteo, pointing to boomers hitting their mid-60s and looking at retirement.

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

In his essay, Stamford University associate economics professor Art Carden said there is little reason to believe technology will destroy people’s chances at work anymore than it has in the past.

“Industries and jobs come and go,” Carden said, pointing to the Industrial Revolution. “Almost everyone used to work on farms. Now, hardly anyone does.”

He said there is “some preliminary evidence” of lower pay and employment in sectors where robots compete directly, but no large-scale threat to the overall job market.

“Artificial intelligence has been replacing cognitive tasks without replacing the need for human work,” he said, such as the calculator, which allow people to do math faster, and hard drives and cloud storage that makes storing data easier than having to use notebooks or the brain.

“The search tools we use to access documents and ideas scattered across these storage media require types of artificial intelligence, too — and that creates opportunities for tech support and information technology consultants,” Carden said.

ALSO READ: Be wary of robot emotions; ‘simulated love is never love’

This is a corrected story. A previous version misspelled Carden’s name.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Peace ceremony in Nanaimo will be a little different in a pandemic

Hiroshima Day will be observed during the afternoon Aug. 6 at Maffeo Sutton Park

Column: ‘Old normal’ disheartening in time of opportunity

We Charity muddle the result of manipulation of money in achieving worthwhile goals, says columnist

Cooler day helps crews fighting fire on mountainside southwest of Nanaimo

Firefighters making progress, but it’s ‘slow-going,’ says B.C. Wildfire Service

Nanaimo RCMP say increase in cycling opens up potential for more bike thefts

Police advise cyclists register their bikes with 529 Garage

City of Nanaimo to look at turning NDSS field into mid-size stadium

Parks and rec will begin stakeholder engagement and begin work on a phased plan for improvements

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Pandemic isn’t a time for tax increases

City councillors are out of touch with the taxpayers, says letter writer

New ICBC data details Nanaimo intersections with the most crashes

Old Island Highway at Bowen Road and Norwell Drive saw the most crashes in 2019

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Most Read