Walk into a restaurant and order from a touchscreen. Call customer service and speak to a software program that sounds and answers questions like a human. Order an Uber and a self-driving car picks you up.
This is automation: the replacement of human workers with robots, artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies. A 2013 Oxford University study concluded automation threatens 47% of jobs in the United States. According to a 2017 report by McKinsey and Co., 30% of U.S. workers may be displaced by 2030, forced to learn new skills to make a living.
It is not only blue-collar jobs at risk, but professions in medicine, law, accounting, finance, journalism and more.
Why should this matter to Jews? Because automation threatens to devastate communities across the U.S. and beyond, and we will not be immune. We must wake up to this reality and start preparing for it now. Automation could make people’s lives better in many ways. The coming technological revolution promises to deliver cheaper and higher-quality products, as well as safer and faster transportation, better health care and more. However, the other side of the coin is that many of today’s most common jobs will disappear.
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