FILE - This Monday, Aug. 1, 2016 file photo shows the humanoid robot “Alter” on display at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo. Understanding humor may be one of the last things that separates humans from ever smarter machines, computer scientists and linguists say. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Are robots coming for your jobs? This think tank says no

Artificial intelligence, robots, won’t necessarily displace workers

Although robots are coming, Canadians shouldn’t worry about them taking their jobs, according to the Fraser Institute.

In a series of essays released Tuesday, writers said that not only would robots take on new jobs that workers couldn’t imagine today, but that robots may fill in gaps left by retiring baby boomers.

“The growth of technology combined with a shrinking labour force may actually produce a shortage of qualified workers in Canada, rather than the widespread unemployment predicted by doomsayers,” said Fraser Institute senior fellow and essay author Livio Di Matteo, pointing to boomers hitting their mid-60s and looking at retirement.

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

In his essay, Stamford University associate economics professor Art Carden said there is little reason to believe technology will destroy people’s chances at work anymore than it has in the past.

“Industries and jobs come and go,” Carden said, pointing to the Industrial Revolution. “Almost everyone used to work on farms. Now, hardly anyone does.”

He said there is “some preliminary evidence” of lower pay and employment in sectors where robots compete directly, but no large-scale threat to the overall job market.

“Artificial intelligence has been replacing cognitive tasks without replacing the need for human work,” he said, such as the calculator, which allow people to do math faster, and hard drives and cloud storage that makes storing data easier than having to use notebooks or the brain.

“The search tools we use to access documents and ideas scattered across these storage media require types of artificial intelligence, too — and that creates opportunities for tech support and information technology consultants,” Carden said.

ALSO READ: Be wary of robot emotions; ‘simulated love is never love’

This is a corrected story. A previous version misspelled Carden’s name.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jumbo Valley to be protected, ending decades-long dispute over proposed ski resort

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

FedEx distribution centre coming to Castlegar

Development permit for ground facility before council next week.

Castlegar fire chief asking residents to clear hydrants buried in snow

A visible fire hydrant will save precious time in case of an emergency.

Kootenay teams heading for curling provincials

Team Buchy and Team Nichols won the senior playdowns.

Hospital in Trail goes from zero to 100!

Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital is one of 4 service hospitals operating in Interior Health

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

On the job hunt with Nelson’s Make A Change Canada

The employment charity is organizing next week’s Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens game

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Most Read