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February 20, 2019, 5:57 am

Q. What should humans do to prepare for the globotics upheaval?

A. The jobs of the future will be doing things that software robots cannot automation – experts think that the most human tasks like creativity, empathy, motivating and managing groups of people, applying ethics, dealing unknown situations and such things will be very hard for software robots to do. To prepare, people should build skills in these more ‘human’ skills, and avoid investing in skills that can be easily autormated.

Q. What questions do you have unanswered after writing this book?

A. I do not look into what the Globotics transformation will mean for emerging nations, but my guess is that it will provide lots of opportunities via what I call telemigrating – people sitting in one nations, working in offices in another.

Q. What measures on a macro scale should be taken in order to handle the change of such magnitude? For example, do you believe that universal income is a viable solution?

A. The key is to help people change jobs and acquire new skills. Income support may be part of it, but this key is to help people move to new jobs.

Q. How do you see education changing in a world where students don’t need to learn for a job?

A. I think the nature of education has to change. It should be shorter, less specialised, and stress soft skills. Of course a minimum technical literacy is essential but for example language skills will be less important for middle-skill workers given how good machine translation is getting.

Q. Where will there be room for humanity in a world dominated by robots and AI?

A. Absolutely. My book argues that the jobs of the future will involve tasks that are more human (since that’s what the software robots CANNOT do well), and more local (since telemigrants can’t be in the same room). The higher productivity should make us all richer and more generous, if governments manage to handle the domestic distribution issues.

Q. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future? Why/why not?

A.  I’m worried in the short term (say, next 5 years), but optimistic if we make the transition.

About the author:

At the root of inequality, unemployment, and populism are radical changes in the world economy—and these changes aren’t going anywhere.

Richard Baldwin, one of the world’s leading globalisation experts, calls the combination of globalisation and robotics ‘globotics’, and warns that the inhuman speed of this transformation threatens to overwhelm us, with the lives of millions of white-collar workers disrupted much faster than automation, industrialisation, and globalisation disrupted the lives of factory workers in previous centuries.

Prepare for an uncertain future by learning more about The Globotics Upheaval.

Richard will hold a session at the Emirates Literature Festival on Friday 8 March 2019, between 2-3 pm, in English.

Click here to book your seats now.

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