Economics columnist Jon Talton wrote an interesting piece for the Seattle Times exploring how our economy has changed and the complexion of the future job market given globalization, automation and the rise of the “gig economy,” among other forces that are reshaping how people work and live. UW CSE professor Pedro Domingos provided his take on the potentially radical changes in store, a topic to which he gave much thought in writing his recent book, The Master Algorithm.
From the column:
“Pedro Domingos, computer science professor at the University of Washington and author of The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World, says, ‘It’s not going to be a smooth ride by any stretch of the imagination.’
“Yet he is not a pessimist.
“‘Over the next five to 20 years, some occupations will disappear, but lots of occupations will be created,’ he says. With machine learning, humans and computers will be teamed up. ‘What in my job can be done by machine learning, and what can’t? What will be very hard to replace?’….
“‘In the long run, we will get to the point, in our lifetime, where computers and robots can do everything better than people,’ he says. ‘This will mark the transition to a very different economy.’
“‘With such measures as a guaranteed universal income, this won’t be a problem. People might say, oh, the U.S. is falling backward because only 25 percent of people are working. No. This can be a great thing. People will find satisfaction in other things.'”
There’s more to it – check out the entire column here.