March 20, 2018, Vol. 24, No. 14

Rise of the Robots: Interview with Martin Ford

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Truck drivers. Cashiers. Accountants. Automation is starting to replace human brains as well as brawn. Author Martin Ford is on a mission to let people know about it.

The idea is simple: as machines improve, so does their ability to take over repetitive, data-based tasks. Even though robots—and robot uprisings—have long been a part of the popular imagination, the current acceleration of artificial intelligence tech is leaving the realm of sci fi and becoming part of everyday life.

Ford, author of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, talked with science writer Allison Mills after his student and faculty presentations this past Saturday. Ford says the two most common questions he gets are, “Will I lose my job?” and “How will this affect my kids and their future employment?” Both questions, he says, show that there’s more at stake than numbers and tech development. He took some time to answer some Michigan Tech questions, too.

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