Bill Gates: 'Robot Apocalypse' on the Way! Is Software Automation Stealing the Pie from Humans?

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By Pavithra Rathinavel | March 18, 2014 7:00 PM EST

Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and one of the richest men in the world, spoke at the American Enterprise Institute at Washington DC.

Reuters
Co-founder and chairman of Microsoft

According to Business Insider, Gates said within 20 years from now, quite a lot of jobs will be replaced by "Software Automation."

"Software substitution, whether it's for drivers or waiters or nurses, it's progressing," the former Microsoft CEO said.

"Technology over time will reduce demand for jobs, particularly at the lower end of skill set. 20 years from now, labor demand for lots of skill sets will be substantially lower." "I don't think people have that in their mental model," he added.

According to The Economist, Gates is not the only one signaling this worrisome scenario. The report said at least a dozen job types will be taken over by robots in the next two decades, which cover both high-paying and low-skilled works. These include commercial pilots, legal work, technical writing, telemarketers, accountants, retail workers and real estate sales agents.

How to Control This Societal Onslaught?

When asked about what the governments across the world should do to prevent such societal adversity, Gates said they should get control of the situation by asking businesses (enterprises) to keep employing "humans" over "bots."

This translates to eliminating payroll and corporate income taxes, at the same time, not increasing the minimum wage so that the businesses will feel comfortable employing people instead of getting their jobs done with the help of robots, BGR reported.

Gates added, "When people say we should raise the minimum wage. I worry about what that does to job creation, potentially damping demand in the part of the labor spectrum that I'm most worried about."

Can we Relate This to the Current 'Job Outsourcing Trend' to the Developing Countries?

Gates' idea of providing "incentives" to businesses (enterprises) to keep humans in job instead of bots sounded similar to the outsourcing of jobs from "developed nations" to the "developing countries" for cheap labor.  

Somehow the developed nations are able to live through this scenario even with many of their jobs outsourced. On that note, will we be able to survive this software automation trend as well?

Is this something that you would worry about?

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Co-founder and chairman of Microsoft
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