Robots are eating our jobs: tech as the enemy of the middle class?

Robotic arms assemble and weld the body shell of a Nissan car on the production line at Nissan's Sunderland plant on January 24, 2013 in Sunderland, England.
Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Millions of middle class jobs in developed countries that were lost in the Great Recession are not coming back, according to a new Associated Press analysis.

What's more, these jobs aren't just being lost to China and other developing countries, and they aren't just factory work. Increasingly, jobs are disappearing in the service sector, home to two-thirds of all workers.

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They're being obliterated by technology.

Year after year, the software that runs computers and an array of other machines and devices becomes more sophisticated and powerful and capable of doing more efficiently tasks that humans have always done. For decades, science fiction warned of a future when we would be architects of our own obsolescence, replaced by our machines; an Associated Press analysis finds that the future has arrived.

On The Daily Circuit Friday, Feb. 1: Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business in the MIT Sloan School of Management and co-author of Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy; and Martin Ford, founder of a Silicon Valley-based software development firm and author of The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future.


Recession, tech kill middle class jobs (AP)

Practically human: Can smart machines do your job? (AP)

Will smart machines create a world without work? (AP)

Are droids taking our jobs? (Andrew McAfee's Ted talk)

The robot revolution: Why you should worry (Martin Ford in Huffington Post)

Martin Ford in The Atlantic (The Atlantic)

It's a man vs. machine recovery (Bloomberg)

Better than human: why robots will - and must - take our jobs (Wired)

Technology will replace 80% of what doctors do (Fortune)