- Last week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said “In terms of artificial intelligence taking over American jobs, I think we’re like so far away from that, not even on my radar screen … I think it’s 50 or 100 more years [away] … It’s taken jobs that are low-paying … We need to make sure we are investing in education and training for the American worker.
- Separately, the White House report “Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy” from Dec. 20, 2016 said “Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and related fields have opened up new markets and new opportunities for progress in critical areas such as health, education, energy, economic inclusion, social welfare, and the environment. In recent years, machines have surpassed humans in the performance of certain tasks related to intelligence, such as aspects of image recognition. Experts forecast that rapid progress in the field of specialized artificial intelligence will continue. Although it is unlikely that machines will exhibit broadly-applicable intelligence comparable to or exceeding that of humans in the next 20 years, it is to be expected that machines will continue to reach and exceed human performance on more and more tasks … AI-driven automation will continue to create wealth and expand the American economy in the coming years, but, while many will benefit, that growth will not be costless and will be accompanied by changes in the skills that workers need to succeed in the economy, and structural changes in the economy. Aggressive policy action will be needed to help Americans who are disadvantaged by these changes and to ensure that the enormous benefits of AI and automation are developed by and available to all.”
- Also, the Pew Recent Center report “Public Predictions for the Future of Workforce Automation” March 10, 2016 said “Two-thirds of Americans expect that robots and computers will do much of the work currently done by humans within 50 years … but most workers expect their own jobs or professions will still exist in their current form in five decades”
- Regarding Mnuchin view - Many studies suggest that blue and white collar tasks are being replaced by AI and automation more rapidly than Mnuchin’s expectations.
- Regarding investing in education and training – With the rapid pace of technological inovation, policymakers face the challenge of determining what type of education and training should be funded to address the structural changes taking place in the job market.