Will Amazon Go replace jobs? ‘I don’t think we can stop it,’ author says – CNBC

“Manufacturing — good, solid, middle class jobs — are disappearing, and what we’re seeing is lots of job creation in the low-wage service sector,” Ford said. These include fast food, retail, hospitality and so forth. But those jobs are not going to be around forever,”

President elect Donald Trumphas sought to address burgeoning discontent among displaced workers by striking deals to keep more jobs from being outsourced overseas. When asked keeping jobs in the U.S. will cause them to be replaced by robots, Trump said “they will, and we’ll make the robots too,” according to The New York Times.

Researchers at IDC predict that by 2019, the government will begin implementing robotics-specific regulations to preserve jobs.

“I think what it leads to is more job destruction, and less job creation, especially for average typical people that don’t necessarily have PhDs from MIT and all of that,” Ford said.

To be sure, self-checkout has been around for years, even as cashiers and retail salespersons have seen high employment rates, Roger McNamee, co-founder of technology investment firm Elevation Partners, pointed out to CNBC on Monday. These workers are often a “positive part” of the retail experience, McNamee added.

But the technology that powers Amazon Go, like the computer vision and artificial intelligence used by self-driving cars, is different that what’s come before it, said Ford.

“It’s true that technology always creates and destroys jobs, and historically, of course, it’s created more jobs,” Ford said.

“But I do think we’re getting to the point — with the advent of real artificial intelligence, machine learning,and so forth — [where] these technologies are beginning to think. They’re taking on cognitive capability. That’s different. It’s going to have a much more dramatic impact,” he added.


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