Cole Stangler

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Hmm, I don’t agree with Vivek Wadhwa that there’ll be no role for humans in labor in the future, but it will take far less than a total foundering of our system for us to find ourselves with an unacceptable level of technological unemployment, so I certainly concur with him in the bigger picture. From Cole Stangler at International Business Times:

The breadth and speed of recent innovations — think robotics, synthetic biology, nanotechnology and 3D printers — coupled with relatively high unemployment, have fueled a debate over whether humans will be permanently erased from the labor force. It’s a potentially dystopian landscape that would have future workers longing for the unemployment rate seen in Friday’s job figures.

“I’m really worried about this,” says Vivek Wadhwa, author and fellow at Stanford University’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance. “In the long term, I see no role for human beings.”

Wadhwa recently oversaw academic programs at Singularity University, a think tank-like group in Silicon Valley whose goal is to “educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges.”

He says self-driving cars and trains will replace workers in the transportation industry, artificial intelligence, sensors and smartphones will eliminate the need for most doctors, nurses and surgeons–and algorithms will displace most human writers. (“I don’t mean to insult your profession,” he says.)

All of this, Wadhwa says, will happen in the next five to 15 years.•

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