Nobel Economist: Robots Far Greater Threat to Jobs Than Globalization

A Nobel Prize-winning economist claims the rise in robotic technologies present a far greater threat to jobs and future prosperity than that of globalization.

“Globalization for me seems to be not first-order harm, and I find it very hard not to think about the billion people who have been dragged out of poverty as a result. I don’t think that globalization is anywhere near the threat that robots are,” economist Angus Deaton told The Financial Times in an interview.

“It’s hard to think that Mark Zuckerberg is actually impoverishing anyone by getting rich with Facebook. But driverless cars are another matter entirely,” he continued.

Deaton, who last year was awarded the Nobel Prize for his research on health, wealth, and inequality, was responding to questions on whether Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidency was a result of disenfranchisement with globalization.

The Obama administration has also warned recently that the rise in robotics could increase overall productivity but also wipe out of millions of jobs across a wide range of industries, especially manual labor.

Research undertaken by the World Economic Forum (WEF) also predicted that based on current development, over 5 million jobs could be lost by 2020 in what they have dubbed the “fourth industrial revolution.”

Many companies including Amazon, McDonalds and Dominos are already implementing robotic technologies at the potential cost of human jobs, especially in the use of drone technologies in an attempt to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

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