AOC Takes a Side on the Automation Debate

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says workers should be excited about job automation. Do you find workers replaced by robots a good thing?

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Total Votes : 67

Scroll down to see how people across America voted.

The extreme technological advancement the world has experienced has created many positives for society but has also formed some complicated ones, with automation being at the forefront of it.

It’s no secret that businesses around the world are turning to artificial intelligence and robots to help themselves. Just go to a Target or Walmart, and you will see self-checkout machines. And when it comes to manufacturing, automation is an essential part of it.

But automation carries with it a negative stigma because it has been strongly associated with taking jobs from humans. In fact, according to an Oxford study on over 30 countries, half of all jobs could disappear because of mechanization, which means that half of the workforce across the globe could be eliminated.

However, according to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D, N.Y., we should not be scared of it, but there is a simple reason why we are.

“We should be excited by that. But the reason we’re not excited by it is because we live in a society where if you don’t have a job, you are left to die. And that is, at its core, our problem,” Ocasio-Cortez, who has backed ideas such as the Green New Deal and universal health care, said.

“We should be excited about automation, because what it could potentially mean is more time educating ourselves, more time creating art, more time investing in and investigating the sciences, more time focused on invention, more time going to space, more time enjoying the world that we live in,” she continued. “Because not all creativity needs to be bonded by wage.”

Unfortunately, the debate surrounding the topic is a lot more complicated than one would initially think because like most things, there are always pros and cons to a decision. There is no such thing as perfect.

The biggest con for opting for robots and AI is the unemployment and worker displacement, but in retort to that, someone can argue that machines aren’t necessarily stealing jobs as much as they are replacing tasks or making them easier, allowing workers to reallocate their focus to other issues.

For example, the self-checkout technology at grocery stores allows workers to divert their attention to improving customer service and managing the store at a more hands-on level.

When the ATM was introduced in the 1980s, many bank tellers feared they were going to be replaced. However, according to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, bank teller employment rose from 1980-2010 because there was a need for them to take on more sales jobs among other things.

In addition, one can argue that the advancement of technology has helped create more jobs than there were even 20 years ago such as search engine optimization, digital marketing, blogging, software design, computer and television design, etc.

But again, it’s not that simple because on the flipside, forcing workers into other fields may not always be a good thing due to unfamiliarity and the amount of training it would take to fit right into today’s competitiveness.

Take for example a truck driver. They are usually older men in their 40s, 50s, or 60s who have most likely spent the majority of their career in the business. But, with the rise of driverless technology, they may become obsolete and be forced elsewhere. But, with not much other experience or skills, would they be able to find something else that can help them make a decent living?

Other advantages include higher safety, more efficiency in production and maximizing profits while also helping with the deficit of skilled workers. But at the same time, further disadvantages include high capital investment and increased pollution. Read more about this on Fox News.

Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says workers should be excited about job automation. Do you find workers replaced by robots a good thing?

18% Y- Efficiency
82% N- scary
21% Y- Efficiency
79% N- scary
7% Y- Efficiency
93% N- scary

Y- Efficiency

N- scary

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