Steg för steg, allt fler jobb tas över av smarta maskiner, med omvälvande effekter

I december förra året släppte Vita Huset en viktig rapport om hur automatiken med sina smarta maskiner hotar alltfler jobb. En utveckling som politikerna inte har något svar på men som hotat att få omvälvande effekter på arbetsmarknaden både i Sverige och USA.

Det finns givetvis inget man kan göra annat än välkomna automatiken. Men vad politikerna måste göra är att arbeta fram planer för de miljoner människor vars jobb nu hotas.

Ett bra exempel är oljemarknaden i Texas om nu återigen är på frammarsch, men utan nya jobb: Texas Oil Fields Rebound From Price Lull, but Jobs Are Left Behind. The industry is embracing technology, and finding new ways to pare the labor force. But as jobs go away, what of presidential promises to bring them back?

David Rotman skriver om den nya automatiken i MIT Technology Review:

“The Relentless Pace of Automation”. Artificial intelligence could dramatically improve the economy and aspects of everyday life, but we need to invent ways to make sure everyone benefits.

It is uncertain how long it will take for driverless trucks and cars to take over the roads. For now, any so-called autonomous vehicle will require a driver, albeit one who is often passive. But the potential loss of millions of jobs is Exhibit A in a report issued by the outgoing U.S. administration in late December. Written by President Obama’s top economic and science advisors, “Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy” is a clear-eyed look at how fast-developing AI and automation technologies are affecting jobs, and it offers a litany of suggestions for how to deal with the upheaval.

It estimates that automated vehicles could threaten or alter 2.2 million to 3.1 million existing U.S. jobs. That includes the 1.7 million jobs driving tractor-­trailers, the heavy rigs that dominate the highways. Long-haul drivers, it says, “currently enjoy a wage premium over others in the labor market with the same level of educational attainment.” In other words, if truck drivers lose their jobs, they’ll be particularly screwed.

It is hard to read the White House report without thinking about the presidential election that happened six weeks before it was published. The election was decided by a few Midwest states in the heart of what has long been called the Rust Belt. And the key issue for many voters there was the economy—or, more precisely, the shortage of relatively well-­paying jobs.

En fråga som skulle kunna lösas genom medborgarlöner. Som dock fortfarande är alltför kontroversiell för de flesta politiker. Men när miljoner människor tvingas in i lågavlönade arbetet då blir det politiska konsekvenser. Som vi har kunnat se i USA.