Robots: What can workers do to protect themselves from automation?

“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” Stephen Hawking.Photo: The Terminator / Orion Pictures Stephen Hawking has warned that artificial intelligence could end the human race. The development of intelligent machines could pose a major threat to humanity.  Sometime in the near future, machine intelligence is predicted to surpass human intelligence, a point in time known as “the singularity.” Whether the rise of the machines is an existential threat to mankind or not, there is a more mundane issue—robotics are being used to automate production. There are more than 300,000 industrial robots in operation in Japan and another 200,000 in North America. This is seen by some as a threat to jobs.  At the recent conference on skills organized by CEDEFOP, the EU agency that supports the…


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