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.

Just Posted

Two new welcome poles unveiled for the Qualicum First Nation’s Head Start program

Carvers: Jesse Recalma of the Qualicum First Nation and Karver Everson of the K’ómoks First Nation

Man, 50, dies following incident in downtown Parksville

Teenage girl hailed as hero for intervening after witnessing situation unfold

Still no firm plan for cold-weather shelter in Parksville

BC Housing says community partners will present their plans in ‘coming weeks’

Listening to Christmas music too early could affect your mental health

Linda Blair, a clinical psychologist, says preemptive Christmas music can trigger anxiety

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

B.C. taxi drivers no longer exempt from wearing a seatbelt

Before, taxi drivers were allowed to forego a seatbelt when driving under 70 kilometres an hour

Sportsnet looks at new options for Coach’s Corner time slot, post-Don Cherry

Spokesperson says Hall of Fame feature on tap this weekend after co-host’s firing

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Car dash covered in papers not an excuse for speeding, Delta police warn

After pulling driver over for speeding, police found his speedometer blocked by a stack of papers

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

Most Read