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Automation Will Crash Democracy

Automation Will Crash Democracy
The BriefGet Up To Speed

Around the world, technology is disrupting the workforce, with automation poised to displace humans in the fields of medicine, agriculture, and beyond. Will the rise of robots fuel a new wave of “us versus them” populism capable of undermining democracy?


“The boundaries between smart materials, artificial intelligence, embodiment, biology, and robotics are blurring. This is how robotics will really affect the human race over the next twenty to forty years.”

Thursday, April 6, 2017
Jonathan Rossiter

Here are 12 jobs with the highest degrees of automation, as well as what they pay and how much the job will grow or decline by the year 2024 … according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

Thursday, September 14, 2017
Rachel Gillett and Anaele Pelisson

“AI opens up opportunities for many new jobs to be created—some that we can imagine and many we probably can’t right now.”

Sunday, April 29, 2018
Daniela Hernandez

“A Pew Research Center survey conducted in May examines Americans’ attitudes about four emerging automation technologies: workplace automation, driverless cars, robot caregivers, and computer algorithms that evaluate and hire job applicants.”

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Monica Anderson

An overview of studies that polled how Americans feel about automation.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Klint Finley

“Thanks primarily to automation, and to a lesser extent globalization, no rich country’s middle-skilled workers are safe.”

Monday, June 26, 2017
Dan Kopf

“People on low and middle incomes have seen their wages stagnate and the share of middle-skilled jobs has fallen, contributing to rising inequality and concerns that top earners are getting a disproportionate share of the gains from economic growth, according to a new OECD report.”

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

“Automation is software that follows pre-programmed ‘rules’. Artificial intelligence is designed to simulate human thinking.”

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Dave Evans
For the Motion

“As new technologies transform the economy, wages fall, and displaced workers compete with those already employed for available jobs. We can see this effect around us now.”

Thursday, February 1, 2018
Ryan Avent

“Another wave of disruption is about to wash across the world economy, knocking out entire new classes of jobs: artificial intelligence. This could provide decades’ worth of fuel to the revolt against the global elites.”

Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Eduardo Porter

“Perhaps the weak wage growth of recent years is telling us something, namely that technology is hollowing out the middle class and creating a bifurcated economy in which a small number of very rich people employ armies of poor people to cater for their every whim.”

Sunday, August 20, 2017
Larry Elliott

“As companies scramble to borrow money in order to buy machinery and robots, the resulting investment boom will drive up rates.”

Saturday, March 3, 2018

“Disruptive technologies, which have helped bring enormous progress, could be disastrous if they get out of hand.”

Monday, March 19, 2018
Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura

“UBI will not solve the social problems that come from loss of people’s purpose in life and of their social stature and identity — which jobs provide.”

Friday, June 9, 2017
Vivek Wadhwa

“Self-driving buses would knock out crucial jobs in black communities across the country.”

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Alexis C. Madriga
Against the Motion

“Everyone thinks that automation will take away our jobs. The evidence disagrees.”

Friday, September 1, 2017
James Surowiecki

“Technology is changing the way we work — that’s not in dispute. These changes can improve people’s lives and lead to a more creative, intellectually engaged workforce.”

Thursday, September 7, 2017
Alston Ghafourifar

“The conventional wisdom among technologists is well-established: Robots are going to eat our jobs. But economists tend to have a different perspective.”

Saturday, July 1, 2017
Ronald Bailer

“There’s an argument to say that rather than engineering humans out of the equation, artificial intelligence will enable us to reach our full potential—performing better.”

Friday, February 16, 2018
Simon Rogerson

“Across the world, the labor pool isn't growing fast enough to support our needs.”

Friday, December 2, 2016
Ruchir Sharma

“If vast swathes of the human population are rendered effectively unemployable, it is imperative that a mechanism is in place to ensure that everyone will stand to benefit from automation—many believe that a universal basic income might be the answer.”

Sunday, October 16, 2016
The Rise of Populism

“There is … an internal challenge to liberal democracy—a challenge from populists who seek to drive a wedge between democracy and liberalism.”

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
William A. Galston

“It’s not a threat to democracy but a salve.”

Saturday, October 14, 2017
John O’Sullivan
The State of Democracy

Freedom House found that last year, “seventy-one countries suffered net declines in political rights and civil liberties, with only 35 registering gains. This marked the 12th consecutive year of decline in global freedom.”

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

“What if democracy is actually doing fine and it is something else that needs correcting?”

Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Clay R. Fuller

“More than half the countries in the latest update of a democratic-health index saw their scores decline.”

Wednesday, January 31, 2018