A lot of the following is a précis from Derek Thompson’s article entitled “A World Without Work”, appearing in the July/August 2015 edition of The Atlantic magazine.
In 2013, Oxford University researchers forecast that machines might be able to perform half of all U.S. jobs in the next two decades. The most common occupations in western democracies are the retail salesperson, cashier, food and beverage server, and office clerk. Economists and technologists look up from their spreadsheets and see automation high and low—robots in the operating room and behind the fast-food counter. They imagine self-driving cars snaking through the streets and Amazon drones dotting the sky, replacing millions of drivers, warehouse stockers, and retail workers. They observe that the capabilities of machines—already formidable—continue to expand exponentially, while our own remain the same. And they wonder: Is any job truly safe?