The Atlantic

The New Casualties of Automation

Jobs that are dangerous or involve repetitive labor are most at risk of becoming obsolete. And that means some racial groups will suffer more than others.
Source: Lilli Carré

During the last big wave of automation in the 1980s and 1990s, technology produced new jobs and made others obsolete. The demand for rote-labor workers had diminished, while that for workers with computer-based skills had gone up. Laborers who didn’t have much experience beyond their rote jobs were, in turn, hit the hardest, and those laborers tended to be black: “Even before the economic restructuring of the nation’s economy,” wrote William Julius Wilson in his 1996 book , “low-skilled African-Americans were at the end of the employment queue.” Who will the biggest victims be in this new age of automation, in which artificial intelligence dominates and tasks such as driving are computerized?

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