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So, what we’re looking to automate is packing dough in a 40-degree warehouse.It’s not a good job, it has a high turnover.” However, MIT economist David Autor takes issue with the notion that automation is simply replacing jobs that no one really wanted in the first place.In the recent presidential election, automation and robotics got a slight reprieve from the accusations that it has been the key driver in job losses in the United States. Indeed, the administration continues to downplay automation as a factor in the U. economy, because that explanation runs against the political policies it hopes to enact under the guise of improving the conditions of America’s workforce.During the campaign, the conversation shifted, thanks largely to then-candidate Trump’s masterful scapegoating of Mexico and China, while calling out trade deals like NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership as clear and present threats to U. On Friday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin dismissed the prospects of artificial intelligence and automation eroding the workforce.But when pressed, those same organizations will ultimately acknowledge that automation has been a driver of factory job loss in the U. It’s pretty simple arithmetic, and something we’ve witnessed time and again.

A number of representatives of pro-automation companies and advocacy groups I spoke with used words like “scaremongering” to describe a spate of recent reports that have raised alarm around the role of robotics in job loss.

“In 1998, the inflation-adjusted output per worker was much lower than it is today,” write the study’s authors, Michael J. “This is due to a variety of factors, chief among them being the automation and information technology advances absorbed by these sectors over this time period.” Colin Parris, the vice president of Software Research at GE, is refreshingly straightforward when speaking to Tech Crunch about the topic.

“Yes,” he says, matter-of-factly, “there will be job losses.” It’s blunt, sure.

While most of the roles displaced by technology were not particularly glamorous, they were still staffed by humans requiring steady employment to make ends meet.

“I don’t think that automation will mean the end of work, but I do think the distribution consequences have been quite significant, and I do worry about those,” Autor says.

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