Bank of England chief economist warns of many becoming “technologically unemployed” as AI makes jobs “obsolete”

Georgeta Gheorghe 20/08/2018 | 17:47

Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane has warned that the UK will need to take steps to avoid “large swathes” of people becoming “technologically unemployed” due to the advance of AI, the BBC writes.

Speaking of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Haldane said the possible disruption it triggers could be “on a much greater scale” than the first industrial revolution.

Stakeholders should learn the “lessons of history” and ensure that people were given the training to take advantage of the new jobs that would become available.

“Each of those [industrial revolutions] had a wrenching and lengthy impact on the jobs market, on the lives and livelihoods of large swathes of society,” Haldane told the BBC.

“Jobs were effectively taken by machines of various types, there was a hollowing out of the jobs market, and that left a lot of people for a lengthy period out of work and struggling to make a living,” he said.

“That heightened social tensions, it heightened financial tensions, it led to a rise in inequality.This is the dark side of technological revolutions and that dark-side has always been there,” he added.

“That hollowing out is going to be potentially on a much greater scale in the future, when we have machines both thinking and doing – replacing both the cognitive and the technical skills of humans,” he concluded.

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