The consultancy Oxford Economics recently studied the effects of robots on the labor force, and found that the impact of automation will not be distributed evenly.
While robots (and convergent tech like artificial intelligence and machine learning) may not displace every job in the foreseeable future, they will damage the middle class and other vulnerable socioeconomic groups much more. And while technology always creates new jobs we have not yet conceived, it likely won't create as many as it displaces, and the window of time the average worker has to retrain (eg: a truck driver becoming a programmer) is impossibly small as tech accelerates.
The results could lead to unprecedented wealth inequality, and exacerbate the issues we already see in politics. Some economists even fear for a "lost generation."
This week we talk to Ed Cone, Technology Practice Lead at Oxford Economics, about the study called How Robots Change the World, a sobering look at the social and political complexities of widespread automation.
Even if we're not expecting a complete "robot takeover," as Cone says, "Whatever happens, we are in no way prepared for it, and it's gonna hurt like hell."