Open markets and global trade have been blamed for job losses over the last decade, but global CEOs say the real culprits are increasingly machines.
And while business leaders gathered at the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos relish the productivity gains technology can bring, they warned this week that the collateral damage to jobs needs to be addressed more seriously.
The UK Labour Party is urging the government to turn away from “the gods of the free market” and instead roll out the red carpet to our new robot overlords.
Or at least that’s what could be inferred from an opinion piece written by the Labour Party’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, who made it clear that he favours mechatronics over abstract notions of free markets.
“A robot driving a lorry may sound daunting, just as a horseless carriage did in 1890. But a driverless car doesn’t get tired, or drink alcohol, or have blind spots,” writes Watson in praise of the machines.
Watson calls for a royal commission into the issue of robotics and automation in the UK, claiming that the chancellor, George Osborne, is leaving to fate to decide whether technological change becomes “out ally not our foe”.