Economists warn that we’re on the brink of a Fourth Industrial Revolution, an unprecedented workplace disruption powered by robotics and artificial intelligence. Not only will smart machines replace human workers in blue-collar manufacturing jobs, but they’ll also wait tables, deliver packages, and analyze legal documents.
The global consulting firm McKinsey & Company found that 51 percent of work activities in the United States are “most susceptible to automation,” namely jobs that are physical in nature and performed in a highly structured and predictable environment. (Amazon fulfillment centers, anyone?) McKinsey predicted that “half of today’s work activities could be automated by 2055.”
The fear of robots taking our jobs feels real, but anxiety over the Fourth Industrial Revolution extends beyond widespread unemployment. The U.S. and other