The Bulletin

Bill Gates: Labor market unprepared for software bots revolution

Posting in Technology

According to Bill Gates, the robotic revolution is going to change the face of the labor market -- and we will be left grossly underprepared.

Speaking at the The American Enterprise Institute on Thursday, Gates said that within 20 years, many jobs will be a thing of the past, only to be replaced with software automation. In other words, robots.

Cost cutting and supply chain optimization through technology may benefit businesses and the bottom line, but will likely leave many employees short of work. The Economist has named many jobs due for the chop in 20 years -- including retail workers and telemarketers -- and Gates believes that low-end skill set workers will be affected first.

Gates commented:

"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."

In order to prevent workers being left out in the cold, Gates says that changes in tax codes will be necessary to encourage companies to hire humans rather than rely on machines. He is also not a fan of raising the minimum wage, believing that such a move will "dampen demand" in the areas of work most likely to be affected by increased reliance on robots.

Read on: Business Insider

Image credit: Flickr

— By on March 17, 2014, 5:36 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure