Robot revolution: Is your job at risk?

Published: May. 26, 2017 at 5:37 PM EDT
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The rise of robots and artificial intelligence are revolutionizing the workplace, but could these advancements send workers to the unemployment line?

It's a robot revolution -- prototypes that deliver food, drones that deliver packages and driverless cars that deliver you. It's all happening right now.

"The whole pattern is that information technology is not simply about making things more efficient it's about creating new products and services that customers are willing to pay for," said Michael Mandel, with the Technology CEO Council.

Mandel is the author of a new report 'The Coming Productivity Boom' that found robots and artificial intelligence could lead to an economic boom. He predicts it will happen in the Midwest.

“This will be the era of Physical industries, our manufacturing, our transportation, our healthcare, agriculture, our mining generating the jobs for the economy and generating the growth," Mandel explained.

However, some say changes to the workforce are inevitable.

“There are elements of artificial intelligence and robots that are clearly taking over tasks that humans used to perform," said Lee Raine, the Director of Internet, Science and Technology Research at the Pew Research Center.

Rainie says the rise of robots and other forms of innovation has been disruptive in the workplace.

"As robots move onto the factory floor and do more functions that are more sophisticated, you don't need as many workers to do those things. What happens to those workers," Rainie questioned.

However, that doesn't mean workers should file for unemployment just yet.

"There really are no jobs being taken away by our artificial intelligence right now. It only has very small, specific applications," said Spencer Smith, the director of research at Chevy Chase Trust.

Smith predicts robots and automation could eventually displace jobs, but it will be a gradual transition.

"The idea of a human like artificial intelligence is probably decades away, so I don't really think we need to worry about that right now," Smith explained.

All three experts agree that lawmakers in Washington DC can help companies by making policies that encourage innovation while also creating new jobs.

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