Monday, October 14, 2002

A student asked me to help him find information about robots replacing workers. It is interesting how the issue has faded since the 1980s. But I found scary a statement from 2001 that argues that the new future is robots in the service industry. Why have ATMs and pay-at-the-pump been a success, but we don't have automated order-taking at fast food restaurants? Is automation happening, though more slowly than predicted, and because of low unemployment not very many people worry about it? Or is it not as serious an issue as predicted? I need to read Amy Sue Bix. Inventing Ourselves Out of Jobs?: America's Debate over Technological Unemployment, 1929-1981 (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000).

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