New Wave of Deft Robots Is Changing Global Industry –

The cost of automated assembly lines is falling and at some point will become cheaper than their labor-intensive equivalent. The result could be a tectonic shift in manufacturing but where will the redundant assembly workers find jobs? JOHN MARKOFF of the NYTimes writes:

The falling costs and growing sophistication of robots have touched off a renewed debate among economists and technologists over how quickly jobs will be lost. This year, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, made the case for a rapid transformation. “The pace and scale of this encroachment into human skills is relatively recent and has profound economic implications,” they wrote in their book, “Race Against the Machine.”

In their minds, the advent of low-cost automation foretells changes on the scale of the revolution in agricultural technology over the last century, when farming employment in the United States fell from 40 percent of the work force to about 2 percent today.

via New Wave of Deft Robots Is Changing Global Industry –