Age of robotics is drawing near
Advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence are occurring at an exponential pace, leading to a future where manual labor and service-sector jobs will inevitably become automated. The impact of globalization, in combination with the current political pressure for raising the minimum wage, will convince more businesses to replace human workers with robots and algorithms that do not need mandatory work breaks, health benefits or sick days.
While some Fresnans are understandably grateful for Amazon’s new warehouse in southwest Fresno, these jobs aren’t permanent and won’t sustain the city for what is coming ahead. According to Forbes, high-tech employment currently constitutes around only 0.5 percent of Fresno’s labor market. This should be an alarming statistic for our future, especially considering Citigroup’s 2015 report found that 53.8 percent of current jobs in Fresno are replaceable by automation.
The incoming wave of automation presents Fresno with the options to either transform ourselves or watch our economy becoming decimated by the inexorable gears of progress. Therefore, local business, education, and government leaders must start engaging in a serious discussion to assess the strengths and needs of all stakeholders to chart a future course where no Fresnans are left behind.
– Khoi Quach, Fresno