Concerns about technology replacing workers isn't new. Over the past 200 years, mechanical looms replaced artisans, electric streetlights displaced lamplighters, cars replaced horses (thus limiting the need for blacksmiths) and personal computers diminished the need for typists. Technological advances have long taken a toll on specific professions and industries. They also raise our overall living standards.
The difference today is that digitization is dramatically reducing transaction costs and helping spread the changes farther and faster than before. Moreover, a new kind of automation - artificial intelligence - puts different kinds of jobs at risk than the mechanical automation of previous eras. Particularly affected are tasks that require cognitive skills, many of which are found in middle-skill jobs.
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