Between November 25, 2013 and January 13, 2014, Pew Research Center asked 12,000 experts and members of the public to share their opinions on what they think about robots – good, or bad? Some speculate that the automation of the work force will dramatically impact the types of jobs humans currently occupy, placing a burden on the education system to ensure that future workers are prepared to enter this new landscape. Others think positively that new types of work will emerge creating jobs that don’t yet exist, driven by revolutions in education and technology.
One of the most interesting was the analogy of live human salespeople & healthcare workers as symbols of luxury. As stated by Judith Donath, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society “the silk of human interaction as opposed to the polyester of simulated human contact.” Our good friend Jerry Michalski, founder of the future think tank REX states, “Automation is Voldemort: the terrifying force nobody is willing to name.”
While all of this is interesting, the one thing everyone seems to agree on as a key theme in the responses, is “the importance for public policy and education to prepare for a more mechanized future.”