Robots Are Stealing Our Jobs


UPDATE: Thanks for the link, Glenn. I provide some background on Pistono’s views here, comparing them with some things Walter Russel Mead has written recently about the future of employment.

This week we revisit a topic that we have discussed before — the role that automation is playing in transforming our economy and, in particular, changing the employment landscape.

Our guest is here to tell us that most analysis on this subject doesn’t go nearly far enough, that technology is on the verge of creating what can only be described as an employment crisis, and that — in fact — robots are about to steal most of our jobs.

About Our Guest:

Federico Pistono is a scientific educator, social activist, computer scientist, blogger, media expert, and aspiring filmmaker.

He writes on a variety of topics including science, technology, Internet communities and social media, artificial intelligence, and climate change.

Federico has a formal education in science and technology, with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Verona, Department of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences. He continued his studies by following courses at Stanford on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. In 2012 he was accepted to the Graduate Studies Program at Singularity University, NASA Ames Research Center, Silicon Valley.

His forthcoming book is entitled: Robots will steal your job, but that’s OK: how to survive the economic collapse and be happy

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Join us live Wednesday February 15 at 10PM EST / 7 PM PST or access the show archive via the player above.

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Our music is Semi-Funk by Kevin MacLeod


  1. 2017-02-19 05:00:59

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  2. 2014-07-10 21:39:31

    I all the time emailed this blog post page to all my associates, since if like to read it afterward my links will too.

  3. [...] of models have been floated around how society and our economy might be reorganized in light of the robot takeover. Maybe we all get straight-up government payments. Maybe we get them on a sliding scale based on [...]

  4. 2012-02-17 08:23:50

    I welcome our new automated overlords. I have been working in the field of industrial automation for over 30 years. The jobs for which these machines are almost exclusively employed are carpal intensive, backbreaking, drone positions. Note for workers in the emerging economy: Study hard.

  5. 2012-02-17 07:44:54

    Where have you people been? This all started with the invention of the Numerical Controlled Machining Center in the '60's.

  6. 2012-02-17 01:49:30

    I wish a robot would steal my task today, which is explaining for the millionth time that, no, technology (including jobs) cannot create unemployment. Yes, advances in technology can destroy individual jobs but they necessarily create more jobs than they destroy. This statement must be true: if it weren't, the technology advances over the last 3000 years would have eliminated every job there was, and a long time ago. The mechanism is pretty simple: technology reduces the cost of making goods and thereby reduces their price. The money the consumer saves creates additional demand. Also, the technology has freed up labor to fulfill that demand. So if automation eliminates enough labor to reduce the price of the iPad by $10, I might buy an iPad and then use the extra money to, say, go to the movies, creating a more employment in the film industry. Yes, there is often a degree of dislocation, while Chinese electronics-factory workers are retrained as movie stars, but no, if there is a global economic collapse coming, it isn't because of robots.

  7. 2012-02-16 21:46:07

    Your guest's argument has one huge flaw in it - he assumes that we only have one planet. He's a lot like a 15th century European looking at the Atlantic ocean, and thinking that the known world is all there is. As technology improves, we'll be using resources from off world, and, with any luck, traveling off world to colonize as well.

  8. [...] PHIL BOWERMASTER: Robots Are Stealing Our Jobs! [...]

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  2. […] of models have been floated around how society and our economy might be reorganized in light of the robot takeover. Maybe we all get straight-up government payments. Maybe we get them on a sliding scale based on […]

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