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Bank of England chief economist warns of rise in “technologically unemployed”

Andy Haldane, the chief economist at the Bank of England, has warned that the UK could be faced with a large number of unemployed people because they don’t possess the technological skills needed, as AI and other technologies begin making traditional jobs obsolete. Haldane didn’t give a figure for the number of people that would lose their jobs, but did say that there would be job losses "at least as large as that of the first three industrial revolutions."

Speaking to the BBC, Haldane compared this jobs revolution to those of the past, saying:

“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. 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. 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. 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.”

In terms of technological unemployment, Neowin has already reported on several news items that reveal this trend, whether it be Amazon’s cashier-less shops, or Uber’s pursuit for driverless vehicles.

One proposed method to address the looming issue has been a universal basic income. A universal basic income would be given to every person whether they work or not, and would essentially aid those who find themselves unemployed or those in low paid work. With that said, the basic income idea took a hit earlier this year when the Finnish government decided not to further fund a trial it was paying for.

Source: BBC News

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