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AI, robotics, automation unlikely to lead to mass job losses: Fraser Institute

Essay series contends new jobs will emerge as businesses and workers adapt.

July 9, 2019   by PLANT STAFF

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VANCOUVER — Technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence and robotization will not lead to substantial job losses, according to a thee-essay series by the Fraser Institute, a Canadian public policy think-tank.

“While some believe the rise of artificial intelligence and other technologies will lead to massive unemployment, the effect will likely resemble past experiences with other new technologies — new jobs will emerge as businesses and workers adapt,” said Steven Globerman, Fraser Institute senior fellow, contributing editor and author of the essay Artificial Intelligence and Employment: Will History Repeat?

As baby boomers retire, Canada’s labour force will continue to shrink over the next few decades, further mitigating any job loss due to technology, notes a second essay.

“The growth of technology combined with a shrinking labour force may actually produce a shortage of qualified workers in Canada, rather than the widespread unemployment predicted by doomsayers,” said

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Livio Di Matteo, Fraser Institute senior fellow and author of  Demographics, Technological Change, Participation Rates and Canada’s Future Labour Shortage writes that the growth of technology combined with a shrinking labour force may actually produce a shortage of qualified workers in Canada, rather than the widespread unemployment.

And a third essay, A Curse on (Intelligent) Machines?, by Art Carden, an associate professor of economics at Samford University, looks at historical context, noting how past waves of innovation destroyed some jobs but created many more.

The Fraser Institute is a Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal.


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