A well-read retired banking consultant in Chicago who wouldn’t know a frack crew from a cricket team sent me a serious article on automation and the future global workforce in the venerable British publication The Guardian. It was an interview with Oxford University Economist Daniel Susskind, talking about his latest book, “A World without Work.” 

In a nutshell, Susskind doesn’t think the industrialized world is taking seriously enough the prospect for tens or hundreds of thousands of jobs disappearing in the wake of the technological advances that are occurring but hidden for the most part in plain sight.

According to the U.K. economics professor, it isn’t the case that robots are stealing all the jobs. They are not, Susskind maintains. Further, entire jobs are not so much being gobbled up as are various human tasks previously thought to be beyond any form of automation. “The technologies that are really very powerful don’t look, think, or reason like us,” he told The Guardian’s Ian Tucker in mid-January. If there were artificial boundaries placed on machines in the last half of the 20th century, they have all been exceeded in the first two decades of this century, Susskind said, citing driverless autos, computer-driven medical diagnoses and identifying flying objects at a momentary glance.

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About the author

Jeff is the founder of Berkana Resources