Elon University

The 2014 Survey: Impacts of AI and robotics by 2025 (Credited Responses)

This page contains only the credited written responses from Internet experts and stakeholders who answered this question in the 2014 Pew Research/Elon University Future of the Internet Survey. Some survey respondents chose to identify themselves; a majority remained anonymous. We share most of the for-credit respondents’ written answers here. Workplaces are attributed for the purpose of indicating a level of expertise; statements reflect personal views. To read the full report, click the image below.

Credited responses by those who answered this survey question

Link to Full SurveyInternet experts and highly engaged netizens participated in answering an eight-question survey fielded by Elon University and the Pew Internet Project from late November 2013 through early January 2014.

This survey question asked respondents to share their answer to the following query:

Self-driving cars, intelligent digital agents that can act for you, and robots are advancing rapidly. Will networked, automated, artificial intelligence (AI) applications and robotic devices have displaced more jobs than they have created by 2025? Describe your expectation about the degree to which robots, digital agents, and AI tools will have disrupted white collar and blue collar jobs by 2025 and the social consequences emerging from that.  

Among the key themes emerging from 1,896 respondents’ answers were: – Advances in technology may displace certain types of work, but historically they have been a net creator of jobs. – We will adapt to these changes by inventing entirely new types of work, and by taking advantage of uniquely human capabilities. – Technology will free us from day-to-day drudgery, and allow us to define our relationship with “work” in a more positive and socially beneficial way. – Ultimately, we as a society control our own destiny through the choices we make. – Automation has thus far impacted mostly blue-collar employment; the coming wave of innovation threatens to upend white-collar work as well. – Certain highly-skilled workers will succeed wildly in this new environment—but far more may be displaced into lower-paying service industry jobs at best, or permanent unemployment at worst. – Our educational system is not adequately preparing us for work of the future, and our political and economic institutions are not prepared to handle this future.

To read full official survey analysis, please click here.

To read anonymous responses to the report, please click here.

Following is a large sample including a majority of the responses from survey participants who chose to take creditin making their remarks in the survey; some are the longer versions of expert responses that are contained in the official survey report. More than half of respondents chose not to take credit for their elaboration on the question (anonymous responses are published on a separate page). They were asked: “Will networked, automated, artificial intelligence (AI) applications and robotic devices have displaced more jobs than they have created by 2025?”

Vint Cerf, Google vice president and chief Internet evangelist, responded, No. “Historically, technology has created more jobs than it destroys and there is no reason to think otherwise in this case. Someone has to make and service all these advanced devices, etc. Self-driving cars seem very likely by 2025. Natural language processing will lead to conversational interactions with computer-based systems. Google search is likely to become a dialog rather than a client-server interaction. The Internet of Things will be well under way by this time and interaction with and among a wide range of appliances is predictable. Third-party services to manage many of these devices will also be common. Transportation will likely change a lot—and I think one will see household robots becoming more common. Situations will vary greatly depending on local conditions—the developing world still with a lot of manual activity, the developed world in urban settings increasingly automated.”

Craig Newmark, founder and CEO of Craig’s List, wrote, No. “People can do things that systems can’t.”

Herb Lin, chief scientist for the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board at the National Research Council of the US National Academies of Science, wrote, Yes. “In the absence of explicit attention to this problem, the disruptions will be significant as many previously-unautomatable jobs become more and more automated. On this time scale the social compact between individuals and society will not be significantly renegotiated. Those areas in which human compassion is important will be less changed than those where compassion is less or not important.”

Joel Halpern, a distinguished engineer at Ericsson, wrote, Yes. “While the advent of automated assistive technology will enable many new jobs, it will likely render irrelevant many current jobs. I expect that in the same time frame other technologies will likely create many opportunities, but in terms of the direct job destruction, creation, and disruption from automated operational technologies such as implied by the question will likely be negative in terms of numbers of jobs. While the effect will be felt more on the ‘blue-collar’ level, it will likely also occur at the ‘white-collar’ level as well. Putting aside the use of the term ‘AI,’ I expect that automated, networked, communicating devices which interact with the physical world will be so common by 2025 as to be unremarked.”

Jason Pontin, editor in chief and publisher of MIT Technology Review, responded, Yes. “There’s no economic law that says the jobs eliminated by new technologies will inevitably be replaced by new jobs in new markets. Indeed, for the first time, there has been a ‘Great Decoupling’ between productivity growth from new technologies and wages. I suspect that we’re beginning to see a structural reorganization in labor, where we will not necessarily require full employment, as it has traditionally been defined. So far, that shift that has mostly affected manufacturing jobs; but it will increasingly touch services jobs, and knowledge-economy jobs, too. All of this is manageable by states and economies: but it will require wrestling with ideologically fraught solutions, such as a guaranteed minimum income, and a broadening of our social sense of what is valuable work. [Development by 2025] will depend on the evolution of new technologies in artificial intelligence like deep learning and neuromorphic chips. While both are promising, AI has been a long disappointment.”

Nigel Cameron, president of Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies, based in Washington, DC, wrote, Yes. “Far more. See my recent commentary and our roundtable with AFL/CIO, SBA, et al. This is a huge and almost entirely unaddressed issue. Gcars and MOOCs will be the default. And so on.”

Larry Gell, founder and director of the International Agency for Economic Development (IAED), responded, Yes. “After 50+ years working for the heads of the worlds biggest corporations all over the globe, watching them cut costs everyplace starting with the biggest cost: PEOPLE. First moving labor to cheapest markets, then replacing them as fast as possible with robots and automation. Why would it stop? It will accelerate. Anything and everything that can be automated to replace humans will be done. You can bet on it! Bank on it!”

Lyman Chapin, co-founder and principal of Interisle Consulting Group, wrote, Yes. “Anything that can be automated will be, and to a greater or lesser extent depending on circumstances, businesses will be reluctant to hire people to perform tasks that can be performed by robots, digital agents, or AI applications.”

Howard Rheingold, a pioneering Internet sociologist and self-employed writer, consultant and educator, responded, Yes. “The jobs that the robots will leave for humans will be those that require thought and knowledge. In other words, only the best-educated humans will compete with machines. And education systems in the USA and much of the rest of the world are still sitting students in rows and columns, teaching them to keep quiet and memorize what is told to them, preparing them for life in a 20th century factory. I, for one, welcome our self-driving automobile overlords. How could they possibly do a worse job than the selfish, drugged, drunk, and distracted humans who have turned our roads into bloodbaths for decades?”

JP Rangaswami, chief scientist for Salesforce.com predicted, No. “The effects will be different in different economies (which themselves may look different from today’s political boundaries). Driven by revolutions in education and in technology, the very nature of work will have changed radically—- but only in economies that have chosen to invest in education, technology and related infrastructure. Some classes of jobs will be handed over to the ‘immigrants’ of AI and Robotics, but more will have been generated in creative and curating activities as demand for their services grows exponentially while barriers to entry continue to fall. For many classes of jobs, robots will continue to be poor labour substitutes. Traditional agriculture and manufacturing will both be affected quite heavily, with AI and robotics having greater roles to play at scale, while high-touch ‘retro’ boutiques will exist for both sectors. Service sector impact will continue to be lower in relative terms; knowledge/information worker sector impact, on the other hand, will be transformational.”

Mike Roberts, Internet pioneer and Hall of Fame member and longtime leader with ICANN and the Internet Society, responded, Yes. “There is a growing worldwide human labor surplus that is getting worse as fertility limits fail to bring population stability. Electronic human avatars with substantial work capability are years, not decades away. The situation is exacerbated by total failure of the economics community to address to any serious degree sustainability issues that are destroying the modern ‘consumerist’ model and undermining the early 20th century notion of ‘a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.’ There is great pain down the road for everyone as new realities are addressed. The only question is, how soon? The Internet has created a global business environment in which labor and capital are readily substitutable, some times in seconds. Combine in your mind the next several cycles of improvement in ‘Siri’ with wearable and addressable devices, along with self driving vehicles—already a reality—and the ever growing knowledge extraction ability of search technology and there is no doubt whatever that 10-20% of what is done today by humans will be done in 2025 by what I term human electronic avatars. The number would be higher if not affected by expected luddite behavior of the victims of these developments.”

Oscar Gandy, an emeritus professor at the Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania, wrote, Yes. “If ‘displaced’ means/includes ‘replaced with lower paying jobs,’ there is no question in my mind about that as this is a process already clearly visible. While not the only determinant, the hollowing out of the middle class that we are seeing is due in no small part to the replacement of mental/creative/analytical workers with software/systems. This can only increase. The primary impacts will be in the area of work/employment. This will be extended to ‘work’ in the home/housework, and will come to include more and more of what we think of as recreation. There will still be a host of ‘personal services’ that will still be relatively unchanged, but that number will undoubtedly shrink.”

Henning Schulzrinne, an Internet Hall of Famer and technology developer and professor at Columbia University observed, Yes. “Many routine information-aggregation and information-routing jobs (e.g., in sales, customer support, health care and legal support) will be endangered, as well as some janitorial tasks. I don’t see self-driving cars displacing livery or truck drivers, as they are more likely to be used for parts of driving (e.g., on interstates) or to support drivers. You still need to unload delivery trucks, for example. However, in some cases, jobs won’t be replaced, but rather be down-skilled or bifurcated into a small number of high-skill, high-pay and a much larger number of low-skill, low-pay positions. AI won’t be visible, but behind the scenes, e.g., in health care analytics, financial trading, legal analysis. Robotics are most likely to be of economic interest in restricted environments such as warehouses, logistics and airports, as well as some janitorial tasks (e.g., window cleaning). Some countries, such as China, will see increased use of robotics as their wage scale increases. However, in the US, many of the tasks amenable to robot substitution are currently done by near-minimum-wage workers, so the incentives for investment and customization are not that high.”

Bob Frankston, Internet pioneer and technology innovator, responded, Yes. “We’ll need to evolve the concept of a job as a means of wealth distribution as we did in response to the invention of the sewing machine displacing seamstressing as welfare. AI is already part of the landscape—much of today’s computing is what we used to call AI. The real issue is whether we can evolve from an ‘automation’ framing to one in which individuals can take advantage of the advances.”

Ralph Tomlinson, Internet pioneer and Hall of Famer, responded, Yes. “Unless we can share the ownership, and the profits, created by robots and other digital agents, we will face massive unemployment. Self-navigating, self-driving cars will arrive well before 2025, and robots will take a larger share of manufacturing, possibly eliminating blue-collar jobs completely by 2025.”

Hal Varian, chief economist for Google, wrote, No. “Everyone wants more jobs and less work. Robots of various forms will result in less work, but the conventional work week will decrease, so there will be the same number of jobs (adjusted for demographics, of course.) This is what has been going on for the last 300 years so I see no reason that it will stop in the decade. We will be well on our way to universal access to all human knowledge via the world wide network of mobile devices and data centers. Day-to-day interaction with devices and data will be by voice. One industry that will be hugely affected is education: what should be people be taught when they can access all human knowledge all the time? My guess is that education will be very slow to respond to this challenge. If ‘displace more jobs’ means ‘eliminate dull, repetitive, and unpleasant work, the answer to this question would be ‘yes.’ How unhappy are you that your dishwasher has replaced washing dishes by hand, your washing machine has displaced washing clothes by hand, your vacuum cleaner has replaced hand cleaning? My guess is this ‘job displacement’ has been very welcome, as will the ‘job displacement’ that will occur over the next 10 years. The work week has fallen from 70 hours a week to about 37 hours now, and I expect that it will continue to fall. This is a good thing. We will rely on personal assistance from devices such as Google Now, Siri, Watson, etc. Much of the interaction will be verbal, so this will look a lot like the Star Trek computer interaction. We will expect computers that we meet to know us and our history of interaction with them. In general, they will infer what we want, and our role is simply to refine and verify that expectation.”

Author and futurist David Brin wrote, No. “Galbraith’s prediction of the 30-hour work week will finally come true. See the novels Earth and Existence.”

Jerry Michalski, founder of REX, the Relationship Economy eXpedition, wrote, Yes. “Automation is Voldemort: the terrifying force nobody is willing to name. Oh sure, we talk about it now and then, but usually in passing. We hardly dwell on the fact that someone trying to pick a career path that is not likely to be automated will have a very hard time making that choice. X-ray technician? Outsourced already, and automation in progress. The race between automation and human work is won by automation, and as long as we need fiat currency to pay the rent/mortgage, humans will fall out of the system in droves as this shift takes place. The only rescue is if it’s possible to stay alive with alternative currencies, or avoiding currencies altogether. AI and robotics will be ubiquitous by 2025. The safe zones are services that require local human effort—gardening, painting, babysitting—distant human effort—editing, coaching and coordinating—and high-level thinking/relationship building. Everything else falls in the target-rich environment of automation.”

David Allen, an academic and advocate engaged with the development of global Internet governance, replied, Yes. “The underlying, fundamental determinant is rate of change, between invention and the workforce. The last century plus has seen the most phenomenal acceleration in the rate of change for innovation. The rate seems likely to continue high. On the other hand, people change and adapt to these changes in the real world only with difficulty. If this is correct, then the rate of change in invention will continue to overwhelm the ability of people—in this case the workforce—to adjust to that change.”

Lee McKnight, a professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at Syracuse University, responded, No. “Millions of jobs and positions will be automated and eliminated by robots, digital agents, and AI tools operating across an Internet of Things. On other hand, new millions of jobs will be created by those same digital gales of creative destruction. The need for retooling white and blue-collar skills to include skills orchestrating agents and robots will help some to advance without formal credentials, creating some new freedom for social mobility. On other hand those whose skills are stale may indeed find a robot, or for white-collar workers, a cloud service, taking their jobs. AI will be pervasive in essentially background mode across the Internet of Things, tuning digital services to respond to people’s needs. And, the needs and desires of business and government. Where robotics will be most visible will remain the factory floor; but by 2025 a wide array of robotic systems will be augmenting daily life for many, in and out of the home, store, car, and office.”

David Hughes, a retired US Army Colonel who, from 1972, was a pioneer in individual to/from digital telecommunications, responded, No. “While this is a very close call, I think the increase in new kinds of jobs building, servicing, monitoring, using to digitally influence or control—with a whole new set of skills required—will be required. The very notion of ‘blue-collar’ ‘white-collar’ distinction will diminish. Is an electronic wireless network troubleshooter blue-collar or white-collar? For all the automation and AI, I think the ‘human hand’ will have to be involved on a large scale. Just as aircraft have to have pilots and copilots, I don’t think all ‘self-driving’ cars will be totally unmanned. The human’s ability to detect unexpected circumstances, and take action overriding automatic driving will be needed as long and individually owned ‘cars’ are on the road.”

David Weinberger, a senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, replied, Yes. “But I don’t know. As someone once quipped, as soon as it works, it’s not called AI any more. Our stuff will get much-much smarter. I can’t think of any parts of life that won’t be affected by this.”

Paul Saffo, managing director at Discern Analytics and consulting associate professor at Stanford University, wrote, No. “The largest impact of these systems is not on the jobs eliminated, but the jobs never created to begin with because they were born digital. Worry less about losing your current job and more about the job you will never be offered in the future because it was designed to be done by a ‘bot from the very start. It will absolutely be a part of ordinary life; the only question is how intelligent the systems will be. Implicit in your question is that we need powerful AI to do tasks. Another approach is to compensate for the lack of robust intelligence by sharply defining the scope and authority of autonomous systems.”

Fernando Botelho, a social entrepreneur working to enhance the lives of people with disabilities wrote, Yes. “The quality of education is not evolving at the same rate as technological improvements, so dislocation is inevitable. Solutions exist, but there is no evidence that these are being deployed at the scale our societies need.”

Olivier Crepin-Leblond, managing director of Global Information Highway Ltd. in London, UK, replied, Yes. “If the world does not think creatively about job creation, all new automata will have destroyed more jobs than it will have created. The hardest people to place in new jobs will be the very unskilled people who have had their job replaced by a robot. We need to think strategically now before we replace people with robots, so as to raise skill levels in time for this paradigm shift. Our idea of a ‘robot,’ i.e. resembling human features with arms and legs somehow skews our answer. Let’s just say that an enormous amount of automata will replace humans, from automated passport gates at border control, to onsite vending machines, automated floor cleaners, window cleaning machines, driving trains, cars, etc. Our day-to-day life will remain the same, but those jobs performed by what some call ‘invisible people’ in the past, will be performed by ‘invisible robots.’ How many people remember the face of the ticket collector on their train? That’s what I mean by ‘invisible people.’ Now the life of the people performing the work of ‘invisible people’ will be heavily affected as they’ll be out of work. The life of others too: I rely on these ‘invisible people’ to bring a human face to the world and to my life—a hello, a smile, a thanks.”

Bob Briscoe, chief researcher in networking and infrastructure for British Telecom, replied, Yes. “Robotics is more likely to have displaced blue-collar jobs, deepening the divide between the haves and the have-nots, and protecting the ‘haves’ from withdrawal of labour and similar industrial action. Rather than increasing leisure time, the ‘haves’ will use the freed-up time to achieve more, because maintaining the previous level of achievement would be rewarded less (relative to a living wage). The greater intensity of economic activity will maintain employment for blue-collar workers, but with similar levels of unemployment as today. Robotics and AI will be significant in 2025, particularly in caring for the elderly, cleaning and sanitation, agriculture, manufacturing and perhaps making greater inroads into transportation and service industries such as catering. Our levels of frustration with robots will be intense, but we will come to not be able to do without them.”

Jonathan Grudin, principal researcher at Microsoft Research, responded, No. “Technology will continue to disrupt jobs, but more jobs seem likely to be created. When the world population was a few hundred million people there were hundreds of millions of jobs. Although there have always been unemployed people, when we reached a few billion people there were billions of jobs. There is no shortage of things that need to be done and that will not change. I do not expect major changes by 2025, although clearly we will have more robotic toys and AI-oriented use of sensor information. There are plenty of cars on the road that are more than 10 years old, so not many cars will have advanced sensors, much less drive themselves, in 2025, but new cars will have more of these capabilities. I expect more robotic assistance for the elderly and infirm, because the demands are manageable and the need is increasing. I don’t expect to see robots helping people improving their tennis skills by 2025, but we will see.”

Llewellyn Kriel , the CEO and editor in chief of an international media services company, wrote, Yes. “Under the guise of personalised service and services, robot/AI systems will have become more invasive by 2025. We will try to control them, but this will only increase the digital divide between wealthy and poor nations and peoples. Digital ghettos, squatter camps, and favellas will proliferate increasing criminal networks and trading. It will become impossible to control the spread of AI invasiveness. Every facet of human interaction will be controlled to greater or lesser degrees and supposed ‘constitutional guarantees’ will be come largely irrelevant.”

Michael Kende, the economist for a major Internet-oriented nonprofit organization, wrote, No. “In general, every wave of automation and computerization have increased productivity without depressing employment, and there is not reason to think the same will not be true this time. In particular, the new wave is likely to increase our personal or professional productivity (e.g. self-driving car) but not necessarily directly displace a job (e.g. chauffeur). While robots may displace some manual jobs, the impact should not be different than previous waves of automation in factories and elsewhere. On the other hand, someone will have to code and build the new tools, which will also likely lead to a new wave of innovations and jobs.”

Marcel Bullinga, a technology futures speaker, trend watcher, and futurist, wrote, Yes. “All jobs will be in peril of disappearing into the cloud (robots agents and AI tools)—everything that is routine, administrative, dangerous, or boring. It will render all remaining jobs into high-quality highly productive high-paid stuff. The only question on a application form in 2025 is: Are You Better than a Robot? That is, have you purely human skills that a robot cannot duplicate, like leadership, creativity, and design? So we start with destruction but, on the other hand, the cloud will also create many new professions and jobs. I carry a list of future jobs in my presentations. See http://www.slideshare.net/futurecheck/the-future-of-work-16137575. No parts of life will remain relatively unchanged.”

Paul M.A. Baker, associate director at the Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U) at the Georgia Institute of Technology, wrote, Yes. “Yes and no. I am not sure how advanced the development of AI and robotics will be in just 11 years, and while there might be gains in jobs locally or regionally in some areas, the history of technological innovation has been to substitute capital for labor—so in developing countries that might have produced some products there will most likely be loss of jobs to automation.”

Jim McQuaid, former chair of the Benchmarking Methodologies Working Group of the Internet Engineering Task Force, responded, “There will be disruption, as there has been, but new technologies will continue to create jobs and opportunities. Just where those jobs are located is a different question. The United States is not committed to sufficient education to continue to lead in technology sectors. I think change will continue to be pretty gradual in the next 12 years. AI and robotics are making great strides but will not suddenly take over a lot of domestic/household functions. The areas that border on factory automation are the candidates for change—perhaps low skill assembly and clothing fabrication jobs will be affected next.”

Jay Cross, chief scientist at Internet Time Group, responded, No. “The nature of work will change. Heaven only knows what comes after the service economy but it won’t be mass unemployment. Perhaps finally people will only need to work a few hours a day.”

David Gans, musician, songwriter and host of The Grateful Dead Hour, responded, Yes. “Automation has already cost our society a great number of jobs, in manufacturing, etc. No reason to believe that trend won’t continue.”

Justin Reich, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, said, Yes. “The work of  researchers Murnane, Levy, and Autor is particularly helpful here. Robots and AI will increasingly replace routine kinds of work—even the complex routines performed by artisans, factory workers, lawyers, and accountants. There will be a labor market in the service sector for non-routine tasks that can be performed interchangeably by just about anyone—and these will not pay a living wage—and there will be some new opportunities created for complex non-routine work, but the gains at this top of the labor market will not be offset by losses in the middle and gains of terrible jobs at the bottom. I’m not sure that jobs will disappear altogether, though that seems possible, but the jobs that are left will be lower-paying and less-secure than those that exist now. The middle is moving to the bottom.”

Laurel Papworth, a social media educator, replied, Yes. “We face a time post-Social where the Internet of Things has learned from us, Matrix-style. Given the millions of photos uploaded every day, even Google can now automatically tell that the photo is of the Eiffel Tower through object identification, where it was taken, the weather and facial identification will even tell Google when it was taken, let alone the metadata. Therefore the current tagging and value adds that humans offer will diminish. Even psychologists could be displaced by Turing-level bots that can fool individuals. The collection and curation of Big Data is currently required to create a mass body of knowledge. Once collated, I don’t see what value we add, unfortunately. Every part of life will be changed. The economy most of all. An Internet of Things economy that examines whether you exercised, what you ate and how upset you got will create a reputation level and that will impact on your health benefits and your peer to peer insurance. There is not a part of life that will not be quantified and monitored.”

Glenn Edens, a director of research in networking, security, and distributed systems within the Computer Science Laboratory at PARC, a Xerox Company, wrote, No. “There are significant technical and policy issues yet to resolve, however there is a relentless march on the part of commercial interests (businesses) to increase productivity so if the technical advances are reliable and have a positive return on investment then there is a risk that workers will be displaced. Ultimately we need a broad and large base of employed population, otherwise there will be no one to pay for all of this new world. AI is hard to predict, past predictions and expectations have been difficult to get right. Its future is likely in most consumer services. Banking, food, retail, etc., will move to more and more self-service delivery via automated systems.”

Jason Hong, an associate professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, responded, No. “There will certainly be some disruption in certain sectors, primarily jobs that are repetitive and routine in nature. However, most of the jobs that can be replaced have already been replaced today, and the ones that haven’t will be harder to replace because they require high touch, high service, or are less routine. It’s also unlikely that there will be a major breakthrough that would lead AIs to replace these jobs, since there is often a decade or so of lead time before these happen. For example, the most visible technology is autonomous vehicles replacing drivers (taxis, tractor-trailers, buses, etc.). However, the design cycle for these automobiles is already very long, and there are still numerous challenges in terms of reliability, liability, cost, and more. We might see the early commercialization of autonomous vehicles by 2025 in niche situations, but I doubt that they will be a part of our everyday lives at that point. (2050 would be a different scenario though). By 2025 AI and robotics will be more integrated into our lives, primarily in the form of a) toys and entertainment (where there is relatively low cost if the AI gets it wrong); b) sensor-based systems (smartphones, appliances, cars) that can be made simple and highly reliable (as we’ve seen with anti-lock brakes, the Nest thermostat, and Siri voice recognition); and (c) back-end big data processing, where experts can help mediate and interpret results. We’re already seeing the beginnings of c) in the form of data scientists analyzing things like tweet patterns, energy usage, app usage, traffic patterns, click-through rates, MOOCs, etc. Here, the back-end is quietly optimized, but the front-end user experience feels essentially the same. My thinking here is that AI will still be considered a very hard problem in 2025, and so it will primarily be used in situations where the cost of errors is low (e.g. toys and entertainment), in situations where things can be modeled to a very high degree of reliability (e.g. voice recognition), or in situations where the human is still kept in the loop.”

Tiffany Shlain, filmmaker, host of the AOL series ‘The Future Starts Here,’ and founder of The Webby Awards, responded, No. “Robots that collaborate with humans over the cloud will be in full realization by 2025. Robots will assist humans in tasks thus allowing humans to used their intelligence in new ways, freeing us up from menial tasks. The parts of life that will change most will be our sense of memory and interactions with new ideas. We will have robotic aids to help us remember facts, memories, and access to ideas that will give our minds amplified abilities. Everyone human on the planet who wants to be connected will definitely be connected by 2025. This intersection and recall of diverse ideas will have lead to great innovation. What will not change—is our human desire for authentic connection and eye contact.”

Alex Halavais, an associate professor of social and behavioral sciences at Arizona State University, predicted, “We’ll see increased use of telepresence in work spaces and in family life. I suspect this will include a lot of ‘always on,’ very-high-resolution video. I imagine a lot of offices doing something akin to what Thomas Keller does for his restaurants in New York and Napa, and installing video walls in the hall. Much of this may be in game space. It is in some ways easy to see what a highly connected US would look like, since there are countries like Finland and Korea that have had far higher bandwidth for some time as well as relative newcomers with cheap gigabit service. AI and robotics have probably already replaced more jobs than they have created. The slow recovery in the US is closely tied to our worker productivity, which is in turn related to our use of technology. We are only at the cusp of this, and I suspect it will be far more obvious and pronounced by 2025. In places (like the United States) without measures to counter economic stratification, this will contribute significantly to creating a permanent underclass. In places where there are some such protections, we may see new interest in craft and innovation at smaller scale. It would have been difficult to predict how completely the agriculture sector in the US would be reduced as a proportion of total employment. The shift wasn’t just to knowledge workers, of course, as the services have swelled in many areas. I suspect that ATMs and self-checkout are just the starting points. The biggest shift will be fairly invisible in the next 10 years, because they will be in manufacturing, particularly at small scale. Tesla’s auto factory is new standard for relatively small-scale production. There have been two brakes on the adoption of automation on the service side: economic and cultural. As some kinds of standardized service jobs become more easily addressed by scalable technology, they will go the way of phone operators and bank tellers. That is, they will not disappear entirely, but they will be radically reduced. Right now, things like food service, travel, and hospitality are being kept human for cultural rather than purely economic reasons, I suspect.”

Jeff Jarvis, director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York, wrote, Yes. “There is a larger force at work that goes beyond the limited notion of jobs being replaced, one for one, by machines, and that is: Technology leads to efficiency over growth. Technology is what enables Amazon to replace an inefficient retail chain, offering lower prices at greater efficiency with fewer jobs. But robots and AI are only part of that story. In media, technology is what enables anyone to share, gather, and analyze information and to publish content at no cost, replacing middlemen and gatekeepers and thus eliminating thousands of jobs in my industry. Machines are not the only cause or at least not always the direct cause. It’s not that a robot-driven truck will replace the newspaper truck, it’s that there will be no newspapers or trucks to deliver them because we have more efficient ways to share news and enable commerce. These sectors of the economy and more to follow—among them, eventually, education and government—will similarly shrink not just because of machines but because of the direct connections networks enable. Yet our economy—from employment to equity markets—is built on the promise of growth. Indeed, with greater efficiency, we will for at least sometime recognize higher productivity, greater profitability, and an increase in wealth especially among the new tech 1%. But that does not mean we will see jobs return. We won’t. One might argue that we have faced such change before as when we shifted from an agrarian to an industrial society. But please note my post here—http://buzzmachine.com/2011/08/05/the-jobless-future/—and especially the discussion about it at Hacker News here—https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2851470, where one of the commenters uses entertainment as an example of why the change this time is different. When we gained spare time thanks to the efficiency of industry, we used that surplus to create a new industry that built new value and wealth: namely, Hollywood. But now, thanks to the net, the video camera, and cats, more and more we are entertaining each other for free. I can only just begin to imagine the social consequences: I see more need for a social safety net at a time when, politically, that will be harder to knit. I see a need for constant education to update skills at a time when fewer resources are going to learning. I wonder about wealth built on corporate equity when popup companies like those spawned on Kickstarter can start with very little capital—indeed, customers’ capital—and, relying on others’ infrastructure for design, manufacturing, sales, and distribution, can disappear when demand for them is met. Think ‘Intel inside.’ By 2025, artificial intelligence will be built into the algorithmic architecture of countless functions of business and communication, increasing relevance, reducing noise, increasing efficiency, and reducing risk across everything from finding information to making transactions. If robot cars are not yet driving on their own, robotic and intelligent functions will take over more of the work of manufacturing and moving.”

Riel Miller, the head of foresight for UNESCO, based in Paris, responded, No. “As when agriculture was eclipsed by industry the issue isn’t the shrinking of old systems but the emergence of new ones. The category of human activity that is employment is not necessarily a dominant category.”

Ben Shneiderman, a professor of computer science at the University of Maryland, wrote, No. “Robots and AI make compelling stories for journalists, but they are a false vision of the major economic changes. Journalists lost their jobs because of changes to advertising, professors are threatened by MOOCs, and store salespeople are losing jobs to Internet sales people. Improved user interfaces, electronic delivery (videos, music, etc.), and more self-reliant customers reduce job needs. At the same time someone is building new websites, managing corporate social media plans, creating new products, etc. Overall, improved user interfaces, novel services, and fresh ideas will create more jobs. But the new jobs will also be in healthcare, travel, and personal services. The current misleading vision of AI and robotics distorts the future view of many people. Autonomous systems are a dangerous direction. The clear way forward is to improving the capability of every user, educating them, and empowering them to make more decisions on their own. Remember my tag line ‘The old computing is about what computers can do; the new computing is about what people can do.’”

Jane Vincent, a fellow at the Digital World Research Centre, responded, No. “These are aspirational aims that by 2025 it will have had a major impact on some areas of work and society but will be no means be the norm. Perhaps the biggest change will be in automated management of public services reducing human interaction at the first line of enquiry. As I have suggested in my work on mobile phones as social robots. the future social robots, those which influence and affect our day-to-day living, will be devices that are a combination of human user and machine and not a machine that replaces a human. As the owner of the device we will find more and more ways of combining human common sense and intelligence with the functionality of machines.”

Joe Touch, director of the Information Sciences Institute’s Postel Center at the University of Southern California, replied, Yes. “Automation will continue to displace certain jobs, but they also create new jobs (creating/maintaining automation) and free us to explore other jobs as well. I don’t think this has changed since the dawn of the industrial revolution, even though every shift is decried for those displaced. Jobs will continue to shift, as will our notion of the distinction between white and blue-collar positions. [AI, digital agents and robotics] will continue to replace certain simple tasks, including mail and package delivery, and will increasingly shift from warehouses to public shopping areas (e.g., restocking shelves, or avoiding the need for bulk shelf displays in stores altogether). Interfaces will increasingly involve speech recognition and vision, interacting with people on more ‘human’ terms. They will take over more driving, and more efficient traffic coordination. I doubt they will impact the basic need for human interaction, whether direct (parks, malls, pubs, etc.) or indirect (music and movies, i.e., as performers).”

John Mitchell, a self-employed lawyer who focuses on antitrust, copyright, trade associations, and free speech, wrote, No. “As with prior technological and labor-saving advances, they will tend to create other jobs of kinds that do not yet exist. But the jobs debate will continue, because, even in 2025, the corporate/lawmaking complex will see it as advantageous to insist that ‘having a good job’ is the ultimate human aspiration. It will probably take over a century for humans to once again emphasize life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as being superior ‘job creation.’”

Bill Woodcock, executive director for the Packet Clearing House, responded, Yes. “We’re seeing AI and expert systems beginning to replace or augment customer-service jobs now, and I believe that trend will continue. I believe that’s a good thing, as they’re replacing jobs starting with the most tedious, leaving the ones that require the most critical thinking and ingenuity for humans. As always, people will find ways to occupy themselves, and I believe AI is not a problem here. Far more troublesome is the trend toward greater social divide, that leaves a larger portion of the world’s population in poverty and unable to garner any advantage from self-driving cars or robot vacuum cleaners, because they simply can’t afford cars or vacuum cleaners of any sort, nor services that come with customer service, whether AI or human. The degree of integration of AI into daily life will depend very much, as it does now, on wealth. The people whose personal digital devices are day-trading for them, and doing the grocery shopping, and sending greeting cards on their behalf, are people who are living a different life than those who are worried about missing a day at one of their three jobs due to being sick, and losing the job, and being unable to feed their children. I think, implicit in this question is an assumption about a middle class that still makes up the bulk of the population of Western nations, and to which many developing countries aspire, but which is, in reality, facing a decline if current trends continue.”

Fred Hapgood, a self-employed science and technology writer, responded No. “In a technological society, jobs, measured by total numbers of jobs, are conserved. This is obvious from economic history—every generation or two of technology disemploys the previous generation, yet employment stays the same. The reason is that money is and only is a medium of exchange. If automation allows you to find savings in your supply chain somewhere the only way you can benefit from those savings is to give them to another human being. Or put them in the bank, which then takes on the responsibility of finding who to give the savings to. Besides, most of the jobs people have now are in the service sector and service jobs are hard to automate. By 2025 robot helicopters will be ubiquitous. Amazon will be working on same-hour delivery. But most of the people we interact with in real life are service people, and services are very hard to automate, especially the more expensive services. When you go to even a medium-quality restaurant in 2025 you will still be waited on by a human.”

Stuart Umpleby, a systems theory expert and professor at George Washington University wrote, Yes. “It is very easy to make a digital device that will make a routine decision. This frees up time to do other things. However, it also makes life more complicated, because one then needs to monitor and control one’s digital agents. It also requires a different type of thinking. For example, instead of going to the store to buy food, one needs to learn how to sign on to a website, order food, and monitor delivery and payment. One lives increasingly in an informational environment rather than a physical environment. A virtual environment is more easily monitored by businesses and simulated by scam artists. People must learn how to identify scams, which most likely will become more sophisticated. The gap between those who live primarily in a virtual world and those who live primarily in a physical world will grow. There will be more jobs for those who work in policing the virtual world—information security. Fact-based activities (digital highway maps) and data-based decisions (managing personal finances and investments) lend themselves to automation. Programs such as Quicken might evolve in the direction of coaching people on alternative life insurance companies and auto insurance companies, accompanied by customer-satisfaction ratings as well as prices. Amazon already suggests books similar to books ordered. Amazon also tries to sell me things I looked for outside of Amazon, e.g., via Google. Some jobs will be reduced by the Internet, e.g., travel agents. However, some jobs will be created by people skilled at using Internet information to make decisions, e.g., investment advisers. These higher-end jobs can also be automated with algorithms, which will become more complicated and more sophisticated. Academic research will increasingly be done via the internet. Spelling, translation, sources, references, databases and statistical packages are all available online. An increasing number of ‘robots’ will be programmed to operate on this data, coaching authors on references to cite and similar papers. Suggesting additional data sources and alternative analytic methods will likely be next. Research on research has been called second-order research. I would particularly like to see routine indicators, graphs, and maps created and made accessible for countries, firms, towns, cities. Algorithms could search for outstanding cases and compare them with the mean. Ideally these would be used and cited by journalists and policy makers. In firms and government agencies process-improvement methods emphasize data collection. A storyboard is often created for a process improvement project. Algorithms could compare these and make comments on significant differences. This would be a kind of second-order process improvement.”

John E. Savage, a distinguished chair of computer science and ACM and IEEE fellow, wrote, Yes. “Robotics and AI will displace workers in automated industries by 2025. However, the demand for information and computing services will create new jobs for those with the requisite skills. The net effect is likely to be moderate to large scale job creation. Systems in which humans interact with robotic equipment will be more prevalent by 2025. Such equipment has the capacity to revitalize manufacturing in countries around the world by offering highly personalized products that are manufactured and delivered to customers quickly, which argues for expanded domestic manufacturing.”

Paul Jones, a professor at the University of North Carolina and founder of ibiblio.org, responded, Yes. “I for one welcome my new robot masters. I don’t welcome the loss of jobs or the depersonalization of services. The social impact will continue to force us to refocus on what makes us human, who we are in relation to each other. And the terms of the social contract that binds us. In the [US] South we saw great changes when the plantation system was abandoned. Not for the best—much room for improvement—but certainly for the better. Human augmentation, both onboard via wearable and implants and offboard with devices that think, are unstoppable. We want them. We want our hearts to keep pumping, our eyes to keep seeing, and we want to know more now! A further and unresolved question coming to confront us: Where does personhood reside? In our bodies or in the robots that may become the housing for our new selves?”

Bill St. Arnaud, a self-employed green Internet consultant No. “Robots and autonomous cars have been predicted and overhyped since the 1950s. There will be niche applications The decline in blue-collar manufacturing has been going on for decades because of productivity. Robots, AI, etc., are just an ongoing aspect of these productivity gains and do not represent anything special. As the case today those without higher education will suffer the most No different than today—they will largely be invisible and embedded in processes and services.”

Agustin Rossi, a PhD candidate at the European University Institute (EUI), Florence, Italy, wrote, No. “Disruption is not the same as displacement of aggregate jobs, as history since the Industrial revolution has shown us. It is safe to assume that technology will change how we produce goods and services, and that will probably mean that some people will loose their jobs in some sectors, but the economy will be able to create new jobs in different sectors that we cannot predict or imagine today. The Luddites have been wrong consistently since the Industrial revolution. Nothing gets old faster than yesterday’s dreams of the future. According to the 1960s we were supposed to have flying cars today, have you seen any?”

Stowe Boyd, lead researcher for GigaOM Research, said, Yes. “As just one aspect of the rise of robots and AI, widespread use of ‘auto autos’—autonomous cars and trucks—will be the immediate end of taxi drivers and truck drivers. Truck driver is the number one occupation for men in the US. Just as importantly, autonomous cars will radically decrease car ownership, which will impact the automotive industry. Perhaps 70% of cars in urban areas would go away. Autonomous robots and systems could impact up to 50% of jobs, according to recent analysis by Frey and Osborne at Oxford (see http://d.pr/8ljr), leaving only jobs that require the ‘application of heuristics’ or creativity. Pizzas will not be delivered by teenagers hoping for a tip. Food will be raised by robotic vehicles, even in small plot urban farms that will become the norm, since so many people will have lost their jobs to ‘bots. Your X-rays will be reviewed by a battery of Watson-grade AIs, and humans will only be pulled in when the machines disagree. Robotic sex partners will be a commonplace, although the source of scorn and division, the way that critics today bemoan selfies as an indicator of all that’s wrong with the world. An increasing proportion of the world’s population will be outside of the world of work, either living on the dole or benefiting from the dramatically decreased costs of goods to eke out a subsidence lifestyle. The central question of 2025 will be what are people for in a world that does not need their labor, and where only a minority are needed to guide the ‘bot-based economy.”

Barbara Simons, a highly decorated retired IBM computer scientist, former president of the ACM, and current board chair for Verified Voting, responded, Yes. “We are already seeing job displacement, especially in manufacturing. I think that increasingly unskilled or low skilled jobs will be automated. That is why it is so important for the country to invest in education at a far-far greater level than we are now doing. Otherwise, we will create a permanent underclass with low educational skills, something that is already happening, given the inequities of public education funding.”

John Markoff, senior writer for the Science section of the New York Times, responded, Yes. “You didn’t allow the answer that I feel strongly is accurate—too hard to predict. There will be a vast displacement of labor over the next decade. That is true. But—if we had gone back 15 years who would have thought that ‘search engine optimization’ would be a significant job category. Over the next decade the ubiquitous computing era will come into full force. Computers will ‘disappear’ and ordinary objects will become magic. Significantly, Steve Jobs was the first one to really understand this—music players, telephones. But the pace is relentless. One thing I learned as long ago as 1991 is that for not-technical people, the bar for passing the Turing Test is lower than you might imagine.”

John Lazzaro, a research specialist and visiting lecturer in computer science at the University of California-Berkeley, wrote, No. “As an engineering community, we’ve been working on robotics and AI for a long time. The rationale behind today’s optimism is that with every process technology generation, Moore’s Law brings us closer to having enough computational resources to solve these problems well. The adult human brain has about 500 trillion synapses, but enough racks full of GPUs fabbed in the fully-scaled 5 nm CMOS process may be able to simulate the pattern recognition abilities of those synapses, at the right level of abstraction for solving engineering problems. This is the basic line of reasoning. I’m skeptical, because don’t think we’d identified the full complement of ideas yet to write the algorithms that would run on the GPU cluster. Much like physics before quantum mechanics— the fastest computers in the world, simulating the equations of classical physics, would not have yielded quantum phenomena as an emergent property. New ideas were needed for that. Someday I believe we’ll have those ideas. But 2025 feels too soon—it takes decades for fundamental ideas like quantum mechanics to be fully worked out by a research community, and so we would know it was coming by now if it were ready to deploy by 2025. For example, the first working FinFET was demonstrated about a decade before its debut in a commercial product, and people in the semiconductor field knew it was going to happen—it was just a question of what year and what company would be first out of the gate.”

Andrew Chen, associate professor of computer science and information systems, at Minnesota State University in Moorhead, Minnesota, Yes. “These job displacements will be in unseen sectors (who really pays attention to the lifestyles of taxicab drivers? Who watches out for the well-being of cleaning staff?). Thus, these job displacements, while numerous, will be largely ignored by society. They will only be used to replace people that are costly. For example, UPS and FedEx will likely employ them in great numbers. There are places where a human face is appreciated, such as retail outlets, and adoption of AI and robotics will be very slow in those areas, especially because humans don’t want to be confronted with their potential loss of jobs due to machines.”

Rashid Bashshur, senior advisor for eHealth for the University of Michigan Health System, said, Yes. “For sure, some jobs will be lost. But with greater emphasis on education and training, newer jobs will be created. More blue-collar jobs will be displaced that white-collar ones. The necessary consequence is a greater emphasis on education and training. Not many parts of the landscape will escape the changes. This technology will become more ubiquitous, and we will learn how to use it.”

Alison Alexander, a professor at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, wrote, Yes. “To the extent that these advances displace manufacturing jobs, it is true. I expect somewhat less displacement of service and business positions. I actually expect these advances to impact society more in social and civic life than from job displacement.”

danah boyd, a research scientist for Microsoft, responded, Yes. “The majority of the disruption will be at the blue-collar level. I suspect that the biggest impact will be in warehouses or ‘fulfillment centers.’ There will be a lot more automation but much of it will be as invisible as it is now. So in that sense, yes, it will be part of the ordinary landscape. The biggest change will be to the movement of atoms—food, consumer goods, etc.”

Adrian Schofield, manager of applied research for the Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering, wrote, No. “In the long term, technology does not remove work, it creates different ways of creating economic value. There will be more entrepreneurs, more people selling intellectual property and supporting services. Adrian: The most significant changes will be in education and health care. Even there, the resistance to change will impede progress in many communities. In spite of the opportunities for change, transport and energy will remain relatively unchanged.”

Alf Rehn, chair of management and organization at Abo Akademi University, Finland wrote, No. “I don’t believe jobs will have been displaced, but quite a few of them will have downgraded. Call it the proletarization of robotics. As robots take over menial tasks, new menial tasks will emerge. Some better jobs as well, but far fewer than we’d like to think. I believe robots, if rather stupid, will be increasingly common, particularly in logistics of various kinds. We’ll still have traffic jams, though.”

Avery Holton, an assistant professor of communication at the University of Utah, wrote, No. “We’re not to a point yet where full automation is displacing enough jobs in this sense. In fact, research seems to show trends of increased manual labor thanks to creating AI in the coming decade or so. Drones, though the name may change, will be a much bigger part of economics and communication delivery.”

Gary Kreps, director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication at George Mason University, wrote, No. “The use of AI systems will supplement human systems and not replace them. For example, in health promotion I foresee the use of automated-AI health-education programs that will be used to provide additional channels for educating consumers about relevant health issues, but not replacing consultations with live health care providers. Additionally, there will be tremendous demand for experts to design, test, implement, and refine smart automated information systems, generating more jobs in the future. I believe that smart, interactive, virtual human agents will be a common part of modern life, providing the public with access to relevant information and support wherever they are and whenever they need help. This will be particularly important in providing consumers with access to relevant health information and support for making important health promotion decisions and guiding self-care and care for loved ones at home. I think this will improve the quality of self and other-care, as well as enhance adherence with health regimens in the future.”

Jim Hendler, an architect of the evolution of the World Wide Web and professor of computer science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, wrote, Yes. “There will be a time of significant change as population patterns change to a new norm—particularly in the US, there may be a whole notion of change in what work is. New norms of living where ‘work’ is redefined will be necessary by the middle of the century, but 2025 will see primarily discord and disruption as new patterns change. The notion of work as a necessity for life cannot be sustained if the great bulk of manufacturing and such moves to machines—but humans will adapt by finding new models of payment as they did in the industrial revolution (after much upheaval).”

Francois-Dominique Armingaud, retired computer software engineer from IBM and giving now security courses to some major engineering schools, responded, Yes. “The main purpose of progress now is to allow people to spend more life with their loved ones instead of spoiling it with overtime while others are struggling in order to access work. There was an interesting experience in Thomson Orvault: the week was split in two, Monday to Thursday (4×9 = 36 hours), and Friday to Sunday ((3+1)x9 = 36 hours), Sunday being doubly paid. The industrial tools were better used (7 days per week, cutting costs), people had more time, and all the parties had voted for that solution (management, workers and trade unions). The ‘Inspection du travail’ explained that would they would sue because they had to in order to cover them, but would do nothing to win ;-). So, here was a loss of many full-time jobs, but in exchange a society working 7 days a week, and nevertheless reduced costs and more leisure for everybody. What we need to raise our kids. What everybody hates is sorting laundry : 1. before washing (temperature, color, type of cloth, and so on) 2. after washing (socks together—what a chore!—and other sorting. Devices doing that would be greatly appreciated and not very expensive to produce once the software is written. Sorting the dishes will be somehow harder (heavier weights, fragility, and so on), at least at the beginning. Routinely feeding the pets will be possible, too. I guess nursing, helping aged people, entertainment and teaching sports will not be greatly impaired, though we can expect some robots to perform beautiful new types of dancing more or less inspired by the Balinese Legong.”

Isaac Mao, chief architect of Sharism Lab, wrote, No. “Human beings will adapt to more AI stuff being around and add more collaborative working models.”

Jeremy Epstein, a senior computer scientist at SRI International, responded, Yes. “The net number of jobs displaced will be fairly small, but they will be disproportionately blue-collar and pink collar jobs going away and new white-collar jobs created. Just as travel agents (a pink-collar job) have been largely replaced by Kayak and the like, many other service jobs like taxi drivers will largely disappear. There are no elevator operators left in the Western world (I’ve seen them still in India, though), why would anyone need a human to pilot a car to a location? Having a human driver may be seen as a status symbol for the wealthy, but even they will see the value in not having to worry about their driver’s sobriety or willingness to share overheard secrets. [One might think] blue-collar jobs in fields like construction will still exist because the costs of automation are too high. However, even they will be reduced as there’s more factory-built housing, which allows for cost-effective use of robots in the construction process. It’s hard to guess how things like garbage collecting will be affected—use of equipment has reduced the number of people involved, and self-driving vehicles could reduce it further, but given the low wages it might not be worth eliminating people altogether. People will still want humans to deal with in retail settings (e.g., grocery stores, restaurants).”

Andrew Bridges, a partner and Internet law litigator and policy analyst at Fenwick and West LLP, wrote, Yes. “’Brain work’ will increasingly become a commodity as computing power enables more artificial intelligence. We already see Google Translate displacing translators, investment-advice algorithms displacing investment advisors, automated landing systems replacing airplane piloting skills, and so forth. I expect that the world will become increasingly divided between ‘standard’ service and ‘concierge’ service in many aspects, with standard service left entirely to the machines and concierge service resting more upon human relationships. Even ‘concierge’ service will rely on AI. It has already become part of the ordinary landscape in many ways, such as finance/trading, advertising, and map routing. Finance, manufacturing, logistics, and transportation will change most. Agriculture, moral education, and early childhood education will change least.”

Rebecca Lieb, an industry analyst for the Altimeter Group and author, responded, No. “Self-driving cars will hardly be widespread by 2025. That’s not to say the aforementioned tools won’t disrupt the job market. We’re already seeing growing demand for roles such as data scientist in organizations. Enterprises will require a highly educated, digital and data literate workforce, which does not bode well for blue-collar workers, or softer-skill white-collar workers. Given trends in US education, this could lead to high demand for engineers from foreign countries (as we’ve seen in the past) with advanced degrees in engineering, mathematics, etc., as institutions of higher learning in this country fail to produce enough graduates with the requisite skill sets.”

Bryan Alexander, technology consultant, futurist, and senior fellow at the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education, wrote, Yes. “The education system is not well positioned to transform itself to help shape graduates who can ‘race against the machines.’ Not in time, and not at scale. Autodidacts will do well, as they always have done, but the broad masses of people are being prepared for the wrong economy. So that’s one win for the robots. There’s also the trend for displaced workers to simply remove themselves from the labor force by retiring, working part-time when they want full-, by disability, or even death. A third point: as more of the population becomes comfortable with digitally-mediated experiences, more functions can be automated. Some seniors might insist on human faces for waiters and health care staff, but that’s a niche. The rest will welcome their robot overlord—er, colleagues. The service jobs we’re creating in vast numbers *could* grow enough to help balance things, but how many can also be automated? To an extent AI and robotics will be invisible. First, many will be physically located out of public perception, as with robot factories or library book retrieval systems. Second, we will become accustomed to them and no longer note their presence, much as we now (in 2013) are unmoved by car computers, mood-altering drugs, cyborg limbs, and astronauts Twittering from a long-term space station.”

Mark Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), wrote, Yes. “Self-driving cars are unlikely to be widely used in the next 10 years. There are simply too many safety risks and too much liability. But mobile robots for a wide range of security purposes could be widely deployed, and many jobs will be displaced. AI, or more precisely rule-based decision-making systems, will continue to be more used in many organizations and professions. Key questions about liability will continue to arise—is the practitioner, the institution, the innovator, or the vendor responsible in cases of mechanized medical malpractice? You will see early versions of RoboCop on city streets. Looking at the current evolution of surveillance drones we can anticipate that that they will have the ability to interpret sound and images. They will also sense chemical compositions to help identify explosive and other harmful elements. They will likely have both infrared detection as well as the ability to see through solid materials and detect heat signatures. They will certainly have facial recognition capabilities and be integrated with a national biometric center. An interesting question is whether they will also have non-lethal weapons, such as tasers. Several incidents of attacks on robots will be reported.”

Marjory Blumenthal, a science and technology policy analyst, wrote, No. “In a given context, automated devices like robots may displace more than they create. But they also generate new categories of work, giving rise to second- and third-order effects. Also, there is likely to be more human-robot collaboration—a change in the kind of work opportunities available. The wider impacts are the hardest to predict; they may not be strictly attributable to the uses of automation but they are related. The automation scares of the 1960s and 1980s proved unwarranted. Yes, the circumstances are different (as they were between the 1980s and the 1960s), but what the middle of the 20th century shows us is how dramatic major economic changes are—like the 1970s OPEC-driven increases of the price of oil—and how those changes can dwarf the effects of technology. Growth in applications relating to health care may be most important given the aging of the population.”

Seth Finkelstein, a programmer, consultant and EFF Pioneer of the Electronic Frontier Award winner responded, Yes. “This is a tricky question, essentially the relationship between technology and employment. I DON’T believe in technological determinism. The technodeterminist-negative view, that automation means jobs loss, end of story, versus the technodeterminist-positive view, that more and better jobs will result, both seem to me to make the error of confusing potential outcomes with inevitability. Thus, a technological advance *by itself* can either be positive or negative for jobs, depending on the social structure as a whole. It’s matter of, where does the productivity gain go? Technodeterminist-positive is simply asserting trickle-down economics, whereas technodeterminist-negative is saying such growth can’t benefit workers. An empirical view is that such gains must be distributed via government efforts and industrial policy so that they really do go into job improvement. Unfortunately, the current political situation, with such productivity gain being almost entirely captured by the ultrawealthy %1, stagnant real wages, enormous inequality, union-busting, and so on, means the specific path is likely to be towards more immigration—not just of manual laborers, but of professionals. But this is not a technological consequence, rather it’s a political choice. Also, it’s important to note there’s problem with counting ‘jobs”. Two part-time jobs as a temp with no benefits aren’t an improvement over one full time job with benefits. There’s a quote attributed to a 19th century railroad robber-baron (Jay Gould), ‘I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.’ Well, look at all those jobs for killers. That’s not quite what one normally has in mind as a job-creation program. We’re still a very long way from ‘AI’ as generally seen in the movies, i.e. humanoid robots. A picture of a city street scene of 2013 doesn’t look too different from 50 years ago. Well, there are all the people looking into handheld little rectangles, but still, for many years there were people walking along with small oblong boxes pressed to their ears. It’s when you consider the difference between what they’re carrying, the smartphone versus the transistor radio, that the magnitude of the change is located.”

Jamais Cascio, a writer and futurist specializing in possible futures scenario outcomes, wrote, Yes. “As general-purpose systems (robots and digital agents) become more powerful and integrated, they’ll be able to do more and more tasks that currently require a human. The tipping point—which may already have happened—will be when the pace at which complex systems can take over for humans becomes faster than the pace at which complex systems create or enable new jobs. And unlike the numerically-controlled factory robots of the 1970s, today’s general purpose machines are designed to be easily-adapted to new job requirements. It won’t just be dropping a robot into the human’s seat. A key catalyst will be the development of infrastructures that enable digital workers/worker replacements, adapting the physical environment to make machine work more reliable. The self-checkout system at many grocery stores is a perfect example of what I mean; we didn’t just build a robot checker, we made machines that split the checkout task with the customer. Digital travel websites replacing travel agents is another example. We’re already seeing some grey-collar and specialized white-collar jobs being absorbed by machines, from legal assistants to surgeons. I expect that to continue, even accelerate. The biggest exception will be jobs that depend upon empathy as a core capacity—schoolteacher, personal service worker, nurse. These jobs are often those traditionally performed by women. One of the bigger social questions of the mid-late 2020s will be the role of men in this world. By 2025, robots/AI (although likely not ‘true’ self-aware autonomous constructed intelligence) will start to become background noise in the day-to-day lives of people in the post-industrial world. From self-driving taxis to garbage collectors to autonomous service systems, machines will start to exist in our social space the way that low-paid (often immigrant) human workers do now: visible but ignorable. [To be clear: I’m not celebrating this, I’m just acknowledging it.] We’ll know they’re there, we’ll interact with them in perfunctory ways, but they will less and less often be seen as noticeable. The big exception here will be in the world of civic response and emergency drones, whether for police work, fire suppression, emergency responders, climate mitigation, and the like. These will be designed to be visible, imposing (especially if they’re needed to assist civic authorities), and a little scary—imagine autonomous fire trucks.”

Barry Chudakov, founder and principal of Sertain Research, wrote, Yes. “Any function that can be automated and done by AI will be. Low-wage service jobs, often cited in job growth statistics, will be the first target of intelligent digital agents. For this reason, and because it will take time to refocus educational institutions to prepare younger workers for newer workplace realities, AI applications and robotic devices will displace more jobs than they create by 2025. Intriguingly, one social consequence of this displacement will not be to demonize these robots and digital agents. As a nation we find them too intriguing, even seductive, to cast them as agents of harm. Moreover, the American progress ethos is built on a faith in the restorative powers of technology. Retraining initiatives such as we have seen in Germany will be imperative to keep a balance between white-collar ‘haves’ and the hapless untrained. Social unrest, misguided and poorly aimed by the outrage industry, will foment anger against politicians and the governing class, but in the decade to come the biggest social consequence of networked, automated, artificial intelligence will be to enrich those who invent and develop it. Anyone who is not interacting directly with us in any business or social services context will be a candidate for replacing with an intelligent digital agent. Siri will be ubiquitous. She and her sibling clones will answer our questions in most remote call centers. The fractured English customer assistant agents in The Philippines or India will be a thing of the past. In hospitals and elder care facilities, robots and furry AI companions will be as commonplace as Band-Aids. In offices, human agents will be as scarce as bookstores are today: receptionists, secretaries, mail room and stock personnel, security guards will all be replaced with AI agents or systems. Everyday questions the kind we ask banks, credit card companies, department stores, doctors will be fed to automated agents and we will start getting intelligent answers from AI robots that are much more intuitive than the stilted prompts we have today. We will come to see interactions with these agents as normal; we will try to fool them from time to time, wondering if we are talking with a so-called real person. In that measure, while we will have occasional frustrations with these agents we will appreciate them and even find them entertaining, almost as we do our pets. These assistants will show up at retail counters and in surgeries, but one area that will remain relatively unchanged will be team collaboration and thinking together out loud. We will come to prize conversation as more valuable than ‘talks,’ in no small measure because deep, true, conversation will be rare and so prized.”

Celia Pearce, an associate professor of digital media at the Georgia Institute of Technology, responded, No. “It is a myth and a popular anxiety that technologies replace people. Although they certainly shift and disrupt the labor ecosystem, if you look at the total net effect, history does not bear out the myth that technology replaces people. First, people make technology, and since technology becomes obsolete at an increasingly accelerated pace, the need for people who make it will only grow; second, people are required to maintain technology. Second, technology is notoriously poor at taking care of itself. Third, people are also required to assist other people in using technology. And fourth, most technology requires new labor forms. In entertainment, for instance, there was a popular anxiety when computer animation took hold that it would replace animators. Yet the credit lists of animated films have only grown since the advent of digital animation. As it turns out, computer animation has created more jobs not less. New technologies tend to create new economies, and hence, more jobs. Where America is failing miserably in this regard is in education and federally funded research. After World War II and during the Cold War, much attention was put to mainstream public education in America, especially in the areas of math and science. Grants were created to support highly progressive research agendas which kept us at the cutting edge of new technologies. This carried on through the 1980s and most of the 1990s until it was decided that America was the only super power, at which point, it all went downhill. (I’m not a fan of the cold war but sadly it’s so-called resolution had a number deleterious effects.) Now, America has one of the worst public education systems in the developed world. Our education system, which is a throwback from the 19th century, is designed to raise blue-collar workers, the demand for which is on the decline. We badly need to rethink and reform our education system, or we will continue to see the trend in growing economic disparity, where a large percentage of the population ends up working at big box stores and fast food outlets in low-skilled jobs that aren’t even blue-collar. As someone works at a technology university, it has not escaped my attention that a high percentage of our graduate students, particularly PhDs, are coming from places like China, India and parts of the Middle East, places that value education and are willing to invest in it. This is also in part why offshoring is more attractive. Indian customer support workers are cheaper and better educated than Americans. As long as we continue to deprioiritize education, we will continue to produce workers whose skills are obsolete for the current economic landscape. AI is old-hat. It’s been around since the 1940s, and it’s tried to tackle a lot of problems with varying degrees of success and failure. It’s already ubiquitous in many forms. Automation is great in some ways, because it reduces human labor in areas that computers are better qualified to take on (like arithmetic) but at the same time, it can be dangerous to let machines take over human functions that require more nuanced responses, like communication, and meaning-making. I worry that things like drones and ‘smart bombs’ are not as smart as we give them credit for. Are we killing the same or more innocent civilians with those devices? If so, we need to revisit them. I actually see us moving away from AI and towards more crowdsourcing approaches. These tend to work better because it’s been proven when you throw a large number of human minds at a problem, you can often get a better result than trying to get a computer to resolve it. Truth be told, computers are not very smart. All they are is giant calculators. They can do things that require logic, but logic is only one part of the human mind. Inspiration, creativity and intuition, meaning-making, storytelling and communication are all things that humans can do that computers will never be able to achieve fully. So if you look at projects like Folding@Home, which addresses protein folding through crowdsourcing, and the growth of ‘games with a purpose,’ that is, video games in which the outcome is solution to a problem, I actually think this approach is going to overtake AI in some areas by 2025.”

Neil McIntosh, a British journalist working for a major US news organization, wrote, No. “I’m an optimist—I believe that high-tech industries tend to create as many, if not more, jobs than they displace.”

Mark Nall, a program manager for NASA, responded, Yes. “Unlike previous disruptions, as when farming machinery displaced farm workers but created factory jobs making the machines, robotics and AI are different. Due to their versatility and growing capabilities, not just a few economic sectors will be affected, but whole swaths will be. This is already being seen now in areas from robocalls to lights out manufacturing. Economic efficiency will be the driver. The social consequence is that good paying jobs will be increasingly scarce. Social welfare systems will have to be expanded to accommodate that. 2025 should still be this side of the technological singularity. Specialized AI is already pervasive. Advanced artificial general intelligence will be gaining traction by 2025. For many people it will make not just data, but information and more accessible. There will be greater opportunities to make better decisions. Automation will be entering the home far beyond Roomba. Warfare will continue to be more automated and precise. Those who have access to these technology tools will have a tremendous advantage over those who do not. Human interaction and motivations will change little.”

Mark Johns, a professor of media studies at a liberal arts college in the US, said, Yes. “Many manufacturing and service jobs will be eliminated by intelligent agents in the next decade. Social problems associated with a growing ‘underclass’ will increase. White-collar education will increasingly involve digital literacy and programming skills (though not necessarily writing code). The ‘middle class’ will continue to shrink, and there will be a greater gap between the educated and tech-savvy ‘haves’ and the uneducated ‘have-nots.’ It is difficult to imagine which aspects of life will remain unchanged. However, I suspect that some applications, such as self-driving automobiles, will be longer in gaining acceptance than the next decade. Those unable to afford newer technologies will have their domestic lives changed less, but these will be the very people more likely displaced in the work force.

Micheal O’Foghlu, CTO of FeedHenry, wrote, No. “Automated car driving will not displace many jobs. Other types of AI will have mixed effects. It is too early to say yet how the numbers of jobs will be impacted. I don’t see a huge impact in the next 10 years. AI has been making promises for many decades now, so I am quite conservative about the potential medium-term impact.”

Bambi Francisco, CEO of Vator and entrepreneur, responded, “Fascinating question. But I don’t think so. There will be many jobs displaced, as is happening today, as has been happening even during the agricultural revolution, when innovative farm equipment replaced labor. But in an imperfect world, where there is always room to advance, there will always be just as many jobs needed/created despite the technological advancements that make many jobs obsolete. For example, self-driven cars will not displace taxi drivers just as buses and subways didn’t. It just means fewer people driving themselves and potentially more jobs for people who can repair these cars and build upon them. It’s not surprising that each technological advance has helped improve our middle class. And this means more jobs created to serve this middle class (e.g. Starbucks baristas and nail salons). We don’t know what these jobs are yet. But humans are pretty opportunistic and creative. The only key question is whether we as a society can create quickly enough.”

Valerie Bock, technical services lead for Q2 Learning, responded, Yes. “A technical services director for a consultancy wrote, ‘Each of these technologies ultimately replace more jobs than they create, but I am hopeful that they will also create some new opportunities which create jobs as yet un-imagined. Robotic servants will likely be part of the domestic and industrial appliance landscape. But I think we’ll attempt, then give up on machines as caregivers. We aren’t going to find a replacement for the human touch any time soon.”

David P. Collier-Brown, a system programmer and author, wrote, No. “Historically, advances create more value, but at the expense of displacing particular workers. We’re already seeing the deadly problems with autopilots reducing pilot engagement at the very moment the autopilot has to disengage, robot cars will be the same. I do expect ‘autodrive’ lanes on divided highways, but not autopilots in cars and trucks. Autonomous tanks, perhaps, but they’re a special case. I expect more automation in non-passenger vehicles, but only in restricted circumstances (separated rail lines or subways, for example).”

Chris Uwaje, president of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, wrote, “The humanity entertainment Industry has just started. The future world will be more populated and social media and entertainment will create more occupation and rewards. Software of the future will become the real magic! We must not forget that man is and remains the most complex machine. And by extension, machine and technologies are nothing but the extension of the human mind/thought process—which has not matured beyond 12% of its ultimate expectation. Nanotechnology will determine how far embedded systems, robotics, and AI can really go.”

Takeshi Utsumi, founder and vice president for technology and coordination of the Global University System, responded, No. “It depends on the definition of labor and job. For example, process control of a chemical plant has replaced many so-called ‘blue-collar’ workers. On the other hand, high intellectual labor (so-called ‘white-collar work’) for research and development is in demand elsewhere in the world. What we need to do is to promote global collaborative creativity with the intellectual workers around the world, as advocated in the Global Knowledge Centers Network project.”

Sonigitu Asibong Ekpe, a consultant with the AgeCare Foundation, a non-profit organization, wrote, Yes. “Although new jobs will emerge they will be skilled jobs. The social consequences will be high. There will be health-related issues which will lead to disrupt society to create a new world order where machines will work with few human hands. This could result in automatic birth control and a reduced population. The effect on the environment may be low or high depending on the waste to be generated by these tools. The parts that will not change include human needs and thoughts.”

Thorlaug Agustsdottir, public relations manager for the Icelandic Pirate Party, replied, No. “Not in the West. 3D printing will change our economy and move production back to local ‘Kinkos’ or ‘print hubs’ where different type of printers are located and people can print a lot of the products they need. This will also move assembly and repair back locally so the changes will not be towards more outsourcing in the third world (Brazil or Africa) but back to the local communities. This will also change the world of design etc. as people will rely more on cad knowledge, design, cheaper products, raw material, etc. So many aspects of life cannot be automated beyond what they already are. The subway will for example not be automated more than it already is, all they do now is improve methods of payment and stepping on/off etc. but still there will be elevators, escalators, gates and check-in points, it is simply the technology that will have changed, moved to phone payments or insta-chips etc. Restaurants, dry-cleaners and service industry will stay the same while 3D printing will change how houses are built, how medicine is practiced etc. Robots may also start to print food but food production will be ever more autonomized, while there will also be a strong trend towards ‘mother nature.’

Miguel Alcaine, International Telecommunication Union area representative for Central America, responded, Yes. “Technology in general will still displace more jobs than it creates. A quality education is a preventive measure to alleviate this trend. Also, entrepreneurship will need to be instilled in the young people. Although, instilling entrepreneurship will not produce more success stories, we definitely need to promote and nurture entrepreneurs ready to invent, discover, sell, and offer the products and services of tomorrow. In this scenario, societies and especially governments will have to look solutions to this trend, which cannot pass by stopping or lowering the pace of technology. AI and robotics will be much more prevalent in manufacturing, but probably the most-observed change will be in assisting the elder population and persons with disabilities to conduct a normal life. Additionally, AI and robotics will start to become pervasive in our daily life, probably without being noticeable. AI and robotics are only tools built by humans, and all decisions, design and use of will be always a human responsibility.”

Darel Preble, executive director and founder of the Space Solar Power Institute, wrote, No. “These will enable more jobs than they destroy. Space Solar Power, for example, is a huge new industry enabled by telerobotics, which will create millions of new jobs on Earth and eventually in cis-lunar-space.”

Carlos Castillo, a scientist working at a national research lab in the Middle East, responded, No. “In the long term the net effect of disruptive technologies such as the mentioned ones has historically been more prosperity, not job losses.”

Christopher Wilkinson, a retired European Union official, board member for EURid.eu, and Internet Society leader said, No. “[This may be true] in advanced parts of Europe and North America. There are other macroeconomic factors in play which will influence the economic and social structure, meanwhile. Assuming that this enquiry is relevant worldwide, then the vast majority of the population will be untouched by these technologies for the foreseeable future. AI and robotics will be a niche, with a few leading applications such as banking, retailing, transport. The risks of error and the imputation of liability remain major constraints to the application of these technologies to the ‘ordinary landscape.’”

John Levine, a survey participant who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, Yes. “Robots and such are surprisingly good at stuff that is intellectually hard for people, so I expect that a lot of routine lawyering and medical diagnosis will be automated. But stuff that is easy for people is likely still to be hard for people, so even as the computer does the diagnosis, the human will collect the data. I also think that there will be jobs that we haven’t thought of that computers are not very good at, e.g., tour guides who read the mood of the clients and adjust the tour appropriately. They’ll be totally ordinary, and a lot of people will depend on them to an extent hard to imagine now. Try explaining to people in about 1930, that in 2013 people will drive their cars to go across the street, and they’ll be talking to invisible friends as they do so.”

Marti Hearst, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley wrote, No. “Certainly robots will be more prevalent, and this will continue to change the landscape in terms of what is automated and what is not. As a kind of displacement that might happen: robot cleaning functionality may put low-paid workers out of work; imagine a set of robots that can clean an entire bathroom. A worker will probably still supervise those robots, but that worker needs to be able to program, repair, and adjust the robots. Jobs that remain will be those that require either very good analytical skill or else be more ‘high touch’; the emphasis on people requiring better social skills and entrepreneurial skills to succeed in work will continue to increase. Aiding in dangerous work, such as going into burning buildings and fighting fires, mining, dealing with toxic substances, drones, and automating healthcare and elder care will increase. Driving and parking and other functions around vehicles will also increase. Perhaps construction jobs will be replaced largely by robots. People will still serve people in entertainment environments, such as in restaurants. People will want the human presence even more for an authentic style of interaction, although much of it may be remote via very high-bandwidth internet.”

Estee Beck, a doctoral candidate at Bowling Green State University wrote, No. “AI will shift labor expectations. In America, for example, we have witnessed the shift from a largely manufacturer society to an increasingly software society, where capital and labor derives from the automations performed by computer algorithms. While we continue shifting from one source of revenue to another, due to technological advancements, there will continue to be a need for people to oversee and work in the design, production, marketing, etc., of AI technologies. Since reports that Google has been testing seven self-driving cars in 2013, I believe there will be increased marketing and research, with products with AI hitting consumer markets within 10 years.”

Arto Lanamaki, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oulu, Finland, responded, Yes. “Everything that can be automated, will be automated. All routine tasks.”

John Anderson, director of broadcast journalism at Brooklyn College, wrote, Yes. “It’s the same pattern we saw in manufacturing: the de-skilling of some forms of work due to improvements in technology. The social consequences are also the same: displacement, increased insecurity, growing inequality. Many service positions will be automated (bank teller, checkout cashier, etc.) between then and now, but will they have a fundamental impact on our ordinary landscape? Perhaps the most fundamental use of robotics/AI will be in the parts of life that are extraordinary to most of us: construction, medicine, finance. How that might change our lives, I can’t even begin to fathom.”

D.K. Sachdev, a consultant and adjunct professor in satellite systems, wrote, “Robot-like devices are introduced in a big way when they are attractive to business or are demanded by users. When that happens, they create new higher-level jobs while reducing lower-level jobs. Societies that organize constant skill upgrades will not suffer. Self-driving cars are never going to be introduced in a big way since, unlike aircraft, there is no centralized traffic management agency for cars. (And I am not recommending it.)”

Brad Templeton, a leader with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Singularity University, responded, No. “They will displace many jobs but the rate of job creation will outpace this. Why is uncertain—it always has, in spite of regular predictions to the contrary. Self-driving cars will be common in many cities. Robots will be everywhere. AI will be less obvious, as it always is—‘if we can do it, it’s no longer AI.’ The car will be the biggest changer of everyday life.”

Tim Bray, an active participant in the IETF and technology leader, wrote, Yes. “It seems inevitable to me that the proportion of the population that needs to engage in traditional full-time employment, in order to keep us fed, supplied, healthy, and safe, will decrease. I hope this leads to a humane restructuring of the general social contract around employment. The impact of AI and robotics specifically is overestimated, and the impact of software and the Internet generally is underestimated. The proportion of all employment that is in the services sector will continue to increase, especially in health-care.”

Linda Rogers, the founder of Music Island in Second Life and grant writer for Arts for Children and Youth in Toronto, wrote, Yes. “While robotics will replace jobs such as transit drivers, gas station attendants, and store clerks, it does not necessarily mean that unemployment will increase overall, however I do not believe that looking at the stark numbers for jobs in AI versus jobs lost to AI we’ll see anything but a slight net loss in that sector. We already see it in grocery scanners, bank machines and can extrapolate from there as automated parking lots add robotic valet service, subway lines no longer require drivers, and garbage pickup services are robot controlled.”

Rob Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, responded, No. “I don’t think that automation is advancing any more rapidly than it has been. But in any case, automation has never led to fewer jobs in the economy in the past and never will in the future, for the simple reason that automation lowers prices which increases demand for goods and services, which in turns creates jobs. AI and robotics will be more part of the landscape but by 2025 it’s unlikely that we will have seen any kind of robot/AI revolution. The changes will be at the margin, for the better, through higher productivity.”

Bernard Glassman wrote, Yes. “I’m honestly trying to think about the last time I heard anyone of any importance argue with straight face that we should adopt a new technology because it will create jobs. At best, new robotics technologies move people into the service sector, at least until the service itself can be automated. Take 3D printing. Can we honestly believe that it will generate more high-level jobs than it kills?”

Jon Marshall wrote, Yes. “AI s will probably not replace all simple manual jobs, but they probably will replace most routine and higher information jobs (teaching, processing, etc). Basically while the world’s income is distributed the way it is, then people will be displaced from work and a living income. That is the point of making the AI s in the first place. The West will become more like the third world, and any advance for the third world will depend on them attempting another way. There is little hope that any thing new will be tried in the West. This is completely unpredictable, other than that people will have to fight if they want to retain standards of living.”

Dmitry Strakovsky, a survey participant who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, Yes. “Arithmetic is not on the side of folks who will not be able to evolve their jobs. As productivity rises, along with life expectancy, we will need to really think about both, birth rate control and how far we want to extend the technologically-mediated wealthfare state.”

Kaizar Campwala responded, No. “This generation of automation will on the whole open up less-globalized, smaller-scale manufacturing and services. However, some services, such as taxi and limo services will be more negatively impacted than others.”

Niels Ole Finnemann, a professor and director of Netlab, DigHumLab Denmark, wrote, No. “The idea that use of digital media will reduce labor seems to contradict all former experiences. The labor market will change, but new jobs will be produced in the very same process, maybe in other places. You increasingly need a global perspective, but there will be created new areas of unemployment around the world, some of which may refer to robotics. One should never overlook that automatization has often been claimed as an important result and possible threat of digitization, but digital media are primarily instruments to create new jobs. It is not the universal automat of Alan Turing which succeeded, but his ‘choice machine’ which depends on the intervention of the—now billions—of human operators around the world. Automats are like a teller machine. Nice for boring jobs. They remain simple mechanical devices which have to adapt to human behavior.”

Sakari Taipale, a social policy and new technologies researcher in Finland, wrote, Yes. “This is very complicated question: the impact of the rise of robotics will vary geographically. In developed, IT-intensive, and dynamic countries, it is clear that robotic solutions will displace mechanic jobs and repetitive tasks more than they create new ones. This is actually the reason why robotics are promoted. But it is also likely that some developed countries, not all, will benefit from this new industry as it will bring along the new demand for designers, engineers, etc. The impact of robotics on the developed South is more a question mark. I am afraid that the robotics will be detrimental for theses countries, if robots are only developed to serve the economic interests of the industrialized North. Work-related immigration from South to North will decrease if robots will do the work of immigrant workers. At the moment, Europeans welcome more robotic solutions to the domains of science, health, rescue, and safety. Europeans are most reserved to see more robots in child/elderly/disabled care, which are the domains that cause the most immediate burden for the public finances, this is what we know from a recent Eurobarometer study. Hence, I believe that the robotics will progress and influence the first-mentioned areas of life more powerfully by 2025.”

Uta Russmann, a professor of strategic communications based in Europe, responded, No. “Even though, technological developments are developing faster by each decade, it will take more than another 10 years until such a scenario will be reality. In 10 years the use of robots, digital agents, and AI tools will still be too expensive for everyday use as well as for broad economic use.”

Jonathan Sterne, a professor in the department of art history and communication studies at McGill University, responded, Yes. “This is not a yes/no question. They will displace some well-paid jobs, and probably create lower-paying jobs. But a look at the history of technology shows that employers generally adopt more expensive and less efficient technologies in order to break unions and decrease wages over the long term. Except in cases where there is organized opposition, this trend will continue. They already are in the background of many technical operations, so I would expect more automation of mobile technologies, perhaps cars if the kinks can be worked out, and various ‘gadget’ applications (home lighting, etc.).”

Homero Gil de Zuniga, director of the Digital Media Research Program at the University of Texas-Austin, responded, No. “Robotic advances will greatly advance how we do things by 2025. However, I don’t believe we’ll explore the full potential of robotics by then (i.e., self-driving cars, etc.). By 2025 the robotics industry perhaps will be more visible in the household environment. That is, rather than fully developed machines or robots driving for us or cooking for us, I can clearly envision small robotic appliances very segmented fulfilling different tasks around the house.”

Jim Warren, longtime online freedom and privacy advocate and editor publisher of microcomputer periodicals, wrote, Yes. “Automation has been replacing human labor—and demolishing jobs—for decades, and will continue to do so. It creates far fewer jobs than it destroys, and the jobs it does create often—probably usually—requires far more education, knowledge, understanding, and skills than the jobs it destroys. It is becoming more and more obvious that we (all developed nations) need to move—rapidly!—away from work-based income and well-being, towards and into more humane cultures, where all citizens are assured a comfortable quality of life, even if they aren’t (and cannot become) sufficiently competent and expert to fill the shrinking number of more-demanding jobs that are available now, and will be still fewer in the future.”

Jon Lebkowsky, Web developer at Consumer’s Union, responded, Yes. “The answer to this question depends in part on how economies will work (will we still need traditional jobs in order to survive?) and on trends in population growth (fewer people could mean fewer jobs required). No doubt we can assume that engineering sophistication will continue to spawn and improve ‘intelligent’ machines, and that such technologies will replace workers in some contexts. However it’s conceivable that we’ll place a premium on human effort and choose meat over machine for many jobs. I suspect that decisions about deployment of potential tech surrogates will be driven by culture and politics as much as by practicality. Technologies will be increasingly embedded in the environment so that we won’t be aware of them in the sense that we would think about them as ‘tech.’ We’ll lean toward technologies that don’t require substantial energy to operate, so we’ll tend toward smaller and more efficient. We may travel less, but experience the world through sophisticated multidimensional media. I also think that health management will be increasingly handled DIY using sophisticated devices that anyone can operate.”

Clifford Lynch, executive director for the Coalition for Networked Information and adjunct professor at the School of Information at the University of California-Berkeley, wrote, Yes. We are already seeing signs of major job elimination in both the ‘white’- and ‘blue’-collar job markets; these jobs are not coming back. ‘Living wage’ movements for better or worse provide economic incentives to automate more jobs out of existence, though the jobs that survive these efforts will be much better jobs in that they’ll allow more people to actually live on their wages if they work full time. By 2025 we are going to have a major social problem developing in this area, and it’s not going to be easy to address through panaceas like ‘more training in science and math”, or generally, ‘more education.’” We need to carefully watch the progress of genuine automation in areas like K-12 and undergraduate education, and the health care sector, that right now employ a lot of people and are struggling with cost containment; we’ll also have to see if society is comfortable (or at least willing) to see these areas (and others, like childcare) much more heavily automated. Overall, this is a major social problem that we aren’t discussing usefully today.”

Chris Donley, director of advanced networks and applications for CableLabs, responded, No. “By 2025, no, I don’t think so. In this timeframe, I see robotics as primarily addressing convenience—allowing me to read a book while I commute to work, cleaning my house, or serving as a digital concierge. In this timeframe, robotics will primarily address things I would otherwise do myself, rather than pay other people to perform. It’s already starting. My washing machine senses how many clothes I have in a load, I have a robotic vacuum, etc. By 2025, I see adoption for menial/unpleasant tasks—driving, cleaning, cooking, household logistics. In businesses, robotics/AI will become pervasive in manufacturing and logistics.”

Linda Neuhauser, clinical professor at the School of Public Health at the University of California-Berkeley, responded, Yes. “While I answered this way, I do think robotics, AI, etc., will replace many jobs, probably more than they create directly. However, I think that the spin-off jobs in marketing, future companion innovations, may match the job loss. A strong ‘yes’ that AI and robotics will be everyday aspects of people’s lives earlier than 2025. Already, the sophisticated early adopters are using AI components in applications to improve their health and other aspects of their lives. These applications will spread fast and I predict that by 2020, half of Americans will have access to cell phone applications that will use AI components.”

Ousmane Musatesa, an academic self-described as ‘working for the good of Internet,’ wrote, No. “Definitively, if this great advance will share for all humanity, it will be an opportunity for the welfare for everyone anywhere. Unfortunately, if the aim of such progress is just to create profits for corporations with eyes on the share price on the stock exchange, the social consequences will be out of imagination. There will be impact on agriculture and more possibilities to take into account the evolution of biodiversity, to ensure that crops are developing well; better and sustainable productivity; monitoring correct prices for the producers, etc. In health there will be more accessibility to any expert’s advice worldwide; availability of relevant drug specifications. Education will be one of the main beneficiaries of these developments. Social relations will remain unchanged, as any AI can have the level of requirements of human brain to take charge of affective, hostile behaviours. It is best that these robotics will not participate in the foolish trend to launch ‘proper war’ a la drone!”

Peter McCann, a senior staff engineer in the telecommunications industry, responded, No. “AI, like any other technological tool, will free up human capital for less mundane pursuits. Large amounts of time spent operating motor vehicles while commuting to and from work will be freed up for productive activity.”

Pamela Rutledge, PhD and director of the Media Psychology Research Center, responded, No. “Technology has always created social shifts. Cavemen were fully employed. In 1862, 90% of Americans were farmers; now 2% are. Technology changes the skills required to contribute value to society. Advances in technology offer tremendous potential but they demand that we get in the game across all institutions and not sit back and watch. Changes in technology mean we have to adapt how we manage, how we communicate, how we prepare people to enter the workforce, the way we educate and the way we teach people to adjust to change. There will be many things that machines can’t do, such as services that require thinking, creativity, synthesizing, problem-solving and innovating. Advances in AI and robotics allow people to cognitively off-load repetitive tasks and invest their attention and energy in things where humans can make a difference. We already have cars that talk to us, a phone we can talk to, robots that lift the elderly out of bed and apps that remind us to call Mom. An app can dial Mom’s number and even send flowers, but an app can’t do that most human of all things, emotionally connect with her. We will see an increase of AI and robotics in repetitive tasks in manufacturing, medical procedures and diagnostics, energy savings (smart houses), data protection and management, education, space travel, and housekeeping. Only humans can figure out where the AI or robotics can add value.”

Dominic Pinto, a survey participant who did not share additional identifying details, said, Yes. “Probably—as we see the acceleration into many forms of transport: cars, railway; given the hollowing out of the Western economies if not others in the recent recession/depression/financial crisis and the slowness for a reduction in unemployment (in absolute terms and taking into account the expanding work populations), it’s likely that these will add to the disruption with little sign of ‘normal’ economic growth generating replacement jobs. The prospects for unrest if not disorder, and a growing disaffected population, are quite significant. I can’t see—for the many, that is—that anything much will be unchanged whether in the social or economic spheres. It will be the significant ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ who will see less either because they command the resources that will employ people to do the ‘menial’ tasks or because they do not.”

Liam Pomfret, a PhD student in online consumer privacy at the University of Queensland, Australia, responded, No. “I do not see robotic devices having much impact outside of the manufacturing sector (where they’re already firmly entrenched) by 2025. I think it’s unlikely that AI will see much penetration into markets by 2025, if only because government regulation regarding self-driving cars, etc, will be as slow to catch up with the changing landscape there as it has been with regards to Internet issues. I am unconvinced that AI and robotics will be part of the ordinary landscape of the general population by 2025. Apart from perhaps more homes having something akin to a Roomba, I do not see it likely that these will have reached the stage of mass production by this time. At best, they may be the playthings of the rich.”

Cheryl Langdon-Orr, a company director, wrote, No. “Whilst the nature of work’ for many will change by 2025 with the increased use of networked, automated, AI applications and robotic devices, this will result in not a net loss of or displacement of jobs but just as ‘disinter-mediation’ with e-commerce was not negative in net effect neither will this be, and may in fact allow for greater diversity in job choices and opportunities. Just as mobile telephony and computing have become an integral part of the day-to-day life for many (i.e. part of the ordinary landscape) the integration of AI and robotics into many parts of the daily life and landscape will also be both ubiquitous and mainly expected/unnoticed.”

Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, wrote, No. “The point is not jobs but productivity. By improving productivity, robots and AI will make the society wealthier and more people will be better off on the whole. That may mean some people are displaced from jobs, and some of them will not realize that they need to adapt to new conditions. Most will, though, so on net more and better jobs will be created, but the point is not jobs. By 2025 here will be less of it than we imagine now, because it’s really hard to make useful things and ingratiate them into society, especially with a risk-averse regulator environment.”

Natascha Karlova, a PhD candidate at the University of Washington Information School, wrote, No. “LOL—my partner works as an SDET. There’s always work for people willing to fix bad code.”

Mattia Crespi, president of Qbit Technologies LLC, responded, Yes. Mattia Crespi, president of Qbit Technologies LLC, responded, _I have not enough data to elaborate a judgement on this point. But I believe it is strictly related to the capacity of policy makers to adapt the learning and education system. Being able to shift continuously large masses into new forms of occupation. By that time, new unexplored territories in space, may also play a role in employing AI entities and robots. MATTIA CRESPI —Anything that is connected to the ‘doing’ will be mostly influenced. From making things, to the moving of things around, dislocated production, networked production and logistics. Some jobs, like cooking, writing, arts in general, anything involving a high degree of emotion, will be the hardest to replicate by a robot, AI or any replicant.

Stacey Higginbotham, a Texas-based technology writer and frequent blogger for GigaOM, commented, Yes. “Such advances will continue to hollow out the middle class, but will open up opportunities for highly educated blue-collar jobs associated with programming and maintaining such robots. The ability of machines to augment human skills will actually replace replace lost jobs, but probably for a different class of worker. That worker will have more programming skills and need a deep understanding of the problem set so as to make calls when the robot can’t. It might be horribly boring work. I have to think that by 2025 we’ll have the economic resources to provide a slightly-above-subsistence living for people and a pathway to the upper class for a few simply because it’s practical for keeping social unrest down. Thus, there will still be service industry jobs for people.”

Susan Price wrote, No. “We need a new collar-coding system. What color ‘collar’ do content creators, link farm workers, customer service personnel sport? There is a new tier of ‘digital savvy/entry level’ jobs being created at an exponential rate. The explosion of online activity is creating zillions of jobs worldwide—and those jobs are going to economies where IT skills and English language use are high but wages are low. A ‘self-employment’ type ‘collar’ designation would be very helpful in understanding what is happening to workers. There may need to be a distinction between those who invent, envision, design, and produce IT systems and services, and those whose primary job function is to perform tasks with them. And there could be a separate color collar for ‘bricks-and-mortar’ jobs and jobs where some tasks are performed connected, and some with face-to-face interaction. Robots, digital agents, and AI tools will continue to disrupt blue-collar jobs in the US. If the US continues as a leader in IT innovations—the biggest obstacle will be willingness to fund (and reform, and modernize) education.”

Sam Punnett of Fad Research observed, No. “As with any hugely disruptive advances, jobs will be lost and jobs will be created. This is part and parcel of the coming of the next large implementation of devices digital and networked referred to as belonging to the ‘Internet of Things.’ We are in the early days of disruption via networked devices that are not general purpose computing and communications platforms now predominately used for information and media consumption. The Internet of Things refers to networked objects that collect and/or react intelligently to data from their own sensors or from external sources to perform prescribed actions. There is a large and promising popular movement in ‘DIY’ or Do-It-Yourself innovations and businesses emerging to serve it. DIY enthusiasts work with inexpensive modular components providing the tools for invention where almost anyone can prototype gadget concepts on their own or within locally organized ‘hacklabs’ which are springing up in many urban centers. These are innovation co-ops where community members can access shared tools and expertise. Participants participate for the joy of creating homegrown projects while others seek commercial development for their inventions. At the very least these facilities contribute to general technical literacy in a wide variety of areas from fabrication and robotics to coding and design work.”

Robert Bell of IntelligentCommunity.org responded, No. “The job-destroying power of automation is balanced by the job-creating power of the economic growth created by greater productivity. Historically, these forces have tended to balance over the long term and across nations and national regions. At the local level, however, negative impacts can be severe as cities and regions fail to adapt fast enough to changing times, and income disparities become truly dangerous. The biggest question is about speed: will the pace of disruption be so great that labor markets and social norms simply cannot keep up. The fundamental drives for identity, community, and relationship will remain unchanged and will shape culture more than technology can. But technology will continue to make things better, faster, cheaper and safer; the impact of self-driving cars alone will be immense in terms of reduced traffic congestion, lower costs for insurance and transport, and driver safety.”

Mark Johnson, CTO and vice president for architecture at MCNC, the nonprofit regional network operator serving North Carolina, wrote, Yes. “The trend towards automation of every job seem inexorable. The probably has a disproportionate affect on older workers of all kinds who are less agile in their ability to move about in the economy than younger workers. It seems like we are moving towards a society of individual contractors and away from the large, benevolent company where you were employed for life. Digital agents will be much more prevalent. They will seamlessly integrate into our lives and we’ll hardly know they are there.”

Charlie Firestone, executive director of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, responded, No. “Certainly there will be disruption with current jobs and more importantly, job functions. In the 2025 scenario, new jobs will be created by the robotic advances, and new functions will be created in the white-collar jobs of today. That is, there will still be a need for certain intermediaries but their functions will adapt to the needs of the new technologies and services.”

Greg Lastowka, a professor of law at Rutgers University, observed, “The displacement of jobs by automation isn’t a consequence of automation alone. Robotics and AI will certainly put an end to a wide range of existing jobs, but with smart economic policy, we could have higher level of employment created by the surplus wealth automation generates. The problem of unemployment should be addressed primarily by creating a smarter political system that serves the citizenry—not by avoiding smarter machines.”

Robert Cannon, Internet law and policy expert, wrote, Yes. “Everything that can be automated will be automated. Non-skilled jobs lacking in ‘human contribution’ will be replaced by automation when the economics are favorable. At the hardware store, the guy who used to cut keys has been replaced by a robot. In the law office, the clerks who used to prepare discovery have been replaced by software. IBM Watson is replacing researchers by reading every report ever written anywhere. This begs the question, what can the human contribute. The short answer is that if the job is one where that question cannot be answered positively, that job is not likely to exist. During the Industrial Revolution, although Adam Smith will disagree, our economy has been based primarily on labor. The Industrial Revolution displaced labor from agriculture to the city—but the labor existed. Where there was work to be done, humans were the best ‘machines’ to do the labor. The humans would be paid for their labor; the humans would then pay for goods produced by other people’s labor. As production become more efficient, labor continued but moved into non essential vocations (where essential is food and shelter). In the future, that foundation of our economy—labor—will be gone. Humans will not be the best ‘machines’ to get work done. What will be left? Capital (ownership) and creativity (human contribution), and perhaps competition (sports, other competitions of humans as we are keen on the realization of the best among us). This will be a massive displacement of the middle class. There will be an ownership class and there will be a poor class that works at a rate below what would economically justify bringing in automation. Aggravating this a educational system designed to meet the needs of Henry Ford and a compartmentalized work force. Henry Ford’s assembly line included workers, and lawyers, and accountants, and sales people, and managers. And each discipline was compartmentalized. And education involved rote learning of fundamentals that had to be memorized and mastered. In a future era where all knowledge is available on a smart device in your pocket, and where Watson type tech can analyze that knowledge for you…. what is the point of the Henry Ford Education? We are teaching our kids for yesterday’s workforce—and we punish kids who dare to out-maneuver teachers teaching skills from two decades ago. Our educational system is deeply broken and will reach a pressure point as it continues to produce an educated work force unable to get jobs. Everything that can be automated will be automated. Non-skilled jobs lacking in ‘human contribution’ will be replaced by automation when the economics are favorable. At the hardware store, the guy who used to cut keys has been replaced by a robot. In the law office, the clerks who used to prepare discovery have been replaced by software. IBM Watson is replacing researchers by reading every report ever written anywhere. This begs the question, what can the human contribute. The short answer is that if the job is one where that question cannot be answered positively, that job is not likely to exist. During the Industrial Revolution, although Adam Smith will disagree, our economy has been based primarily on labor. The Industrial Revolution displaced labor from agriculture to the city—but the labor existed. Where there was work to be done, humans were the best ‘machines’ to do the labor. The humans would be paid for their labor; the humans would then pay for goods produced by other people’s labor. As production become more efficient, labor continued but moved into non essential vocations (where essential is food and shelter). In the future, that foundation of our economy—labor—will be gone. Humans will not be the best ‘machines’ to get work done. What will be left? Capital (ownership) and creativity (human contribution), and perhaps competition (sports, other competitions of humans as we are keen on the realization of the best among us). This will be a massive displacement of the middle class. There will be an ownership class and there will be a poor class that works at a rate below what would economically justify bringing in automation. Aggravating this a educational system designed to meet the needs of Henry Ford and a compartmentalized work force. Henry Ford’s assembly line included workers, and lawyers, and accountants, and sales people, and managers. And each discipline was compartmentalized. And education involved rote learning of fundamentals that had to be memorized and mastered. In a future era where all knowledge is available on a smart device in your pocket, and where Watson type tech can analyze that knowledge for you…. what is the point of the Henry Ford Education? We are teaching our kids for yesterday’s workforce—and we punish kids who dare to out-maneuver teachers teaching skills from 2 decades ago. Our educational system is deeply broken and will reach a pressure point as it continues to produce an educated work force unable to get jobs.”

Dan Gordon of Valhalla Partners wrote, Yes. “We will not have evolved a new understanding of work, jobs, and the relation of humans to the fruits of society. This is fundamentally an ideological and social question, not a technical or economic one. If we came to believe that humans were some kind of Eloi entitled to live off the labor of robots and intelligent machines, we would easily accept an infrastructure where no one ‘worked’ in today’s sense (or very few), and most people did what we would today call pastimes or hobbies. But we need to get there morally and psychologically, and I doubt we will have gotten there by 2025. 2035 maybe. They will be extensive parts of the ordinary landscape.”

Stewart Baker, a partner at Steptoe and Johnson, a Washington law firm, wrote, Yes. “Probably. There will be an expansion in jobs that still can’t be done by machines, but it doesn’t look as though those jobs will expand as fast as IT kills jobs in the service sectorSelf-driving cars will be a semi-reality by 2025, but there will be plenty of self-driving people too. Also by 2025, it will be possible to have robotic ‘pets’ and ‘assistance bots’ with whom some of us will have a spookily emotional bond.”

Raymond Plzak, former CEO of the American Registry for Internet Numbers, and current member of the Board of Directors of ICANN, wrote, No. “Just as industrial advances and information technology advances have created new jobs and transformed others the same will continue to happen. Society, businesses and governments must become innovators in finding approaches and means for individuals to have productive and comfortable lifestyles that continue to advance human welfare. Failure to do so will exacerbate the distribution of wealth, goods and services disparities. The real question is to what degree will AI and robotics be assimilated, integrated, and accepted into the fabric of everyday life by the average individual as well as to what degree privacy and personal individualism is protected.”

David Clark, a senior research scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, said, No. “This question is ambiguous—if it is about ‘American life,’ then in America robotics may allow us to create high-skill jobs that might otherwise go overseas to lower-paid, less automated labor. The larger trend to consider is the penetration of automation into service jobs. This trend will require new skills for the service industry, which may challenge some of the lower-tier workers, but in 12 years I do not think autonomous devices will be truly autonomous. I think they will allow us to deliver a higher level of service with the same level of human involvement. AI methods and techniques are already part of the ordinary landscape. The problem with the term ‘AI’ is that it is constantly redefined to describe things we don’t yet know how to do well with computers. Things like speech recognition (like Siri), image recognition (face recognition in consumer cameras), and the like used to be hard AI problems. As they become practical commercial offerings, they spin off as their own disciplines. Robotics is a more specific question, covering physical devices with physical actuation, perhaps combined with perception of some sort. We already have robot floor cleaners and robot lawn mowers. I like to consider questions such as this by asking what problem needs a solution. I believe that one reason the ‘smart home’ has not taken off so well is that the dumb house is good enough. I think commuting is a problem (so self-driving cars as well as telework will be popular). We will see robots in health care and care of the elderly. But these may not be humanoid robots, but devices designed to work in specialized spaces designed for them.”

Ian O’Byrne, an assistant professor at the University of New Haven, wrote, No. ”Robotics, AI, and ‘intelligent machines’ will displace a ton of jobs over the next 10 years. Jobs coming back to the U. S. for the most part means that they’re being completed by robots or soon will be. As these jobs are displaced we’re in store for a revolution of sorts as people search for jobs that the ‘robots’ have taken. Here’s hoping for another agricultural revolution. :-) I believe it will be interchangeable. I think (hope) there will be a seamless transition between online and offline. I think that robots and AI will be a ubiquitous aspect of that.”

Jari Arkko, Internet expert for Ericsson and chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force, wrote, No. “There is no doubt that these technologies affect the types of jobs that need to be done. But there is only 12 years to 2025, some of these technologies will take a long time to deploy in significant scale. At the same time I am optimistic that there are other tasks in societies that need more workers. I do not see a significant change in the next 12 years in this respect. We’ve been living a relatively slow but certain progress in these fields from the 1960s.”

Mike Liebhold, senior researcher and distinguished fellow at the Institute for the Future, wrote, No. “Globally, more jobs will be created by manufacturing OF robots, but in developed countries like the US and Europe jobs will be displaced by manufacturing BY robots. The largest impacts by 2025 will be in manufacturing—distribution—agriculture—entertainment (toys!).”

Rajnesh Singh, director in the Asia-Pacific region for the Internet Society, wrote, No. “Society has always evolved, and will continue to do so. Yes, some jobs will be displaced, but yet others will be created—and out of this will come further opportunities.”

Luis Hestres, a doctoral candidate and graduate research assistant at American University’s School of Communication, wrote, No. “The emergence and spread of robotic advances and AI will inevitably eliminate the need for many jobs. However, it will also create new jobs that must be filled; for example, jobs that involve designing, manufacturing, maintenance and repair, and disposal after these devices are no longer functional. These devices will also probably create ancillary markets, much like the iPhone created the apps and accessories markets. The catch is that these jobs will require both more and better education than the US currently seems prepared to offer its citizens on an equal basis.”

Garland McCoy, president and founder of the Technology Education Institute, said, Yes. “Over the last several years I have found it very curious that article after article on robotics and self-driving cars have skipped over the huge impact all of this will have on jobs. The wave after wave of disruptive technology coming from the West Coast is crashing headlong into the policies, lobbyist and special interest of the East Coast (Washington DC). Note Amazon’s promise of the drone delivery of packages from self-driving trucks. Only the rich will be able to afford the insurance to drive,  everyone else will have to be content with self-driving cars. There’s a huge impact there and in healthcare both at home and in the hospital and senior-assisted living centers, and all of the fast food establishments will be fully AI/robotics. Teaching will also be mostly AI.

Steve Carter, a vice president at eHarmony, Yes. “The market is not irrational. The fact that a factory can replace $2M in worker compensation by spending $1M on a robot only works if the robot manufacturer makes a profit. In broad terms, this means that more worker compensation will likely be destroyed than is created through new technologies. This fact is writ large in the current structure of wealth in our society. Transportation will become largely roboticized, as manufacturing has already become saturated.”

Dara Barlin, founder of A Big Project, responded, No. “It creates fear to focus on job loss, as opposed to opportunities gained from technology advancements.”

Tony Siesfeld, director of the Monitor Institute wrote, No. “Perhaps this scenario plays out in developed markets in which certain manufacturing and information-related service work is replaced by digital agents and AI at a rate faster than new types of service jobs are created. I don’t think this will happening in emerging markets, which will be the nexus of economic growth in 2025. These will be very much a part of the ordinary landscape and, as new automobiles reflect today, largely hidden from our everyday view. We will have more VRU interactions when we call companies, our systems will be maintained and monitored more closely and efficiently, and our tools (e.g., diagnostic health devices) will be more powerful. I suspect there will be a larger amount of surveillance than there is now. I also anticipate that there will be a backlash and we’ll see a continued growth of artisanal products and small scale, done myself or with a small group of others, that rejects robotics and digital technology.”

Evan Michelson, a researcher exploring the societal and policy implications of emerging technologies, responded, Yes. “Robotics will have a surprising impact on jobs, with new industries being created but many others being destroyed. Both blue-collar and white-collar jobs will be created. Will we need a new class of jobs—grey collar? no collar?—that work seamlessly with advanced robotics and digital agents.”

Judith Donath, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, responded, Yes. “Even simple technologies have been doing this (most of what was a secretary’s job has been replaced by answering machines and Word). Robots will be able to stock store shelves, checkout and bag groceries and other store purchases. They’ll do much of today’s custodial work, delivery services, and transportation. Customer service will be almost entirely done with scripted agents. Software agents will work their way up from the crowd scenes in moves to smaller speaking roles, and eventually to fully automated ‘live’ films. Employment will be mostly very skilled labor—and even those will jobs will be continuously whittled away by increasingly sophisticated machines. Live, human salespeople, nurses, doctors, actors will be symbols of luxury, the silk of human interaction as opposed to the polyester of simulated human contact. In an ideal world, we’d distribute the wealth and have everyone live in a post-revolutionary paradise of life-long education; where everyone had the means and the time to pursue their deepest interests. In reality, the difference in wealth between the high 1% and everyone else will grow radically. Unemployment will be very high and increasing. The wealthy, elite, employed will live in walled cities, with robots providing the labor needed to maintain their fabulous lifestyle, while an increasing percentage of the rest will be chronically unemployed. Conversations with intelligent-seeming agents will be far more common. It will be frequently difficult to tell—online at least—if you are speaking/chatting with a person or program. And, people will have become accustomed to this and ceased to care in many cases. Dealing with a machine will often be more efficient, and many people will come to use the sort of shorthand commands—no greetings or niceties, imperative forms—that they use with AI agents with anyone in a subordinate position.”

Nick Arnett, business intelligence expert and creator of Buzzmetrics, wrote, No. “Automation that stimulates creativity by exposing people to truly new and different points of view and ways of thinking will lead to innovations that we can’t quite imagine today. ‘Network effects’ will have modeled new social structures that seem like pure chaos to those who imagine that democracy and efficient markets are the ultimate forms of freedom.”

Leah Lievrouw, a professor of information studies at the University of California-Los Angeles, wrote, No. “On one hand, both areas have a very long history of over-promising and under-delivering transformative technologies; rather, technical progress in this area has been incremental and mostly designed around replacing routine mechanical or informational tasks that don’t require ‘intelligence’ as much as a script or decision-tree types of instructions where input is incorporated into output. Thus we have drones, battlefield robots, factory tools operated by humans; the ‘Internet of Things’—long-promised, still to be realized—with lots of discrete devices with limited capabilities. Probably this trajectory will continue to displace workers doing routine tasks, from customer service to manufacturing to boots-on-the-ground combat. But a fairly limited pool of highly-skilled designers and managers may be required to design and build them. Not sure how that will balance out.”

Ed Lyell, a college professor of business and economics and early Internet policy consultant dating back to ARPANET, observed, Yes. Ed Lyell The diminishing literacy skills, especially math and science, of our young people leave them less able to contribute to a new world based on needing those skills. The increasing ‘smarts’ of AI and robotics will continue to displace low level worker skills, except for those that are place bound. Thus home health nurses, chamber maids, and such will still be around but over time technology will replace many of them. Expert systems in AI already make better decisions on routine matters than humans and this will expand. We continue to follow paths outlined by science fiction writers like Asimov and others. Less and less human based jobs will exist in the future and they will be bi-modal—low end physical and high end design. A challenge for the future will be how to maintain something like a middle class society in which less than 1/2 work. It is possible but will require radical re-structuring of many facets of life.

Marina Gorbis, executive director at the Institute for the Future, a non-profit research organization, replied, Yes. “The jobs that will increasingly be displaced are higher level knowledge jobs that have traditionally not been threatened by automation—legal work of all kinds, disease diagnosis and treatment recommendations, financial management, etc. The combination of AI, automation, and crowdsourcing platforms will result in a complete re-definition of work and jobs (less about individual performance, more about algorithmic coordination of micro-tasks). Medical practices (diagnostics, research, treatment), legal work (highly automated), seamless coordination of needs of objects (an UBER for everything, not just cars but all types of needed things), including drone delivery.”

Mike Osswald, vice president for experience innovation at Hanson Inc., wrote, Yes. “Many jobs: truck drivers, customer support, light assembly, bank tellers and store checkout staff will be diminished for businesses who can afford the upfront implementation costs. Complex assembly will employ robots who do the repetitive or dangerous work, and take their cues from a human assistant. Head-up displays and virtual reality will assist less-trained, yet handy people to perform jobs formerly requiring skilled tradesmen. People will be displaced, businesses will slowly transition their older workforce to different jobs and not hire younger people or veterans. Businesses who let go of many people when adding robots will face backlash from citizens, but only for a time. Robotic vehicles and transport devices will be intermixed with human-controlled cars and trucks, more self-service activities will become common (store checkout). Store shrinkage/theft will lessen, as ‘unpaid items’ will alert building doors to trap the ‘thief’ in the vestibule.”

Susan Hildreth, a director with a US institute of museum and library services wrote, No. “This is a very valid trend, just not sure we will make as much advancement by 2025 as would be needed to see this level of displacement.”

Amy Webb, digital media futurist, founder of Webbmedia Group, replied, Yes. “There is a general concern that the robots are taking over. I disagree that our emerging technologies will permanently displace most of the workforce, though I’d argue that jobs will shift into other sectors. Now more than ever, an army of talented coders is needed to help our technology advance. But we will still need folks to do packaging, assembly, sales and outreach. The collar of the future is a hoodie. Considering that Facebook just announced a new, multi-city AI lab—just one of many companies infusing AI into their core work—I’d say that AI and robotics will be an inextricable part of our future lives, and likely well before 2025. Soon, your coffee maker and toaster will communicate with each other to deliver your espresso just as your bread turns golden brown. Self-aware cars, autonomous drones (not just those in the sky) will assist us with everyday tasks.”

Josh Caldern, a university professor responded, Yes. “By 2025 robotics and AI may or may not have displaced more jobs than they have created, partly because 12 years is not much time to integrate new technology and systems into how we do things. But beyond 2025 the potential for job replacement seems high, partly because it may not require many people to create, supervise, and maintain such systems. AI will be most prevalent in the background, in software and apps that offer information and guidance. An example is before us already: the Netflix AI that knows our preferences better than our loved ones.”

Geoff Livingston, author and president of Tenacity5 Media, wrote, No. “While some jobs will become displaced, they tend to create new ones. So, we have more professional services, creative jobs, marketing, etc. as a result of automation technologies. That will only continue. Basic menial tasks like housekeeping, lawn maintenance, etc., all have the opportunity to become automated by robotics. AI may become more involved in traffic management, healthcare, corrosion detection, and other non-obtrusive aspects of civic life. I see the movement towards AI and robotics as evolutionary, in large part because it is such a sociological leap. The technology may be ready, but we are not. At least, not yet.”

Thomas Haigh, an information technology historian and associate professor of information studies at the University of Wisconsin, observed, No. “My position is basically historical. Over the past 200 years many technologies have boosted productivity by eliminating jobs, yet large scale technological unemployment has never been a long term reality. So it seems unlikely that new productivity technologies will destroy more jobs than they create. The economy will continue to shift towards personal services, of a kind hard to automate. I don’t think daily life will be very different. Robotics will continue to expand from existing niches—manufacturing, transportation, self-propelled domestic devices. AI will make it increasingly easy to interface with computer systems in flexible ways. Automated decision making has largely automated fairly complex business processes like credit card applications, and coupled with big data will continue to displace human judgment in routine transactions.”

Doc Searls, director of ProjectVRM at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, wrote, Yes. “First, prototypes of self-driving cars are already here, thanks to Google and a few others. Driving, however, has been a human activity from the start, with century-old norms and a regulatory framework spanning global, national, interstate, state and local jurisdictions. Getting self-driving cars to work within all of that, and for regulations to adapt as well, seems a tall order that will require a lot of time and many trials and errors along the way. If it happens, 2025 is probably too early a date for seeing lots of self-driving cars, except perhaps in a few isolated geographies. So far, the strongest arguments for self-driving cars are savings and safety. So let’s say savings is covered, and the cost of owning a self-driving car is cheaper than owning a conventional one. On the safety side, according the June 2012 NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts report (pdf), 5,419,000 crashes in the U.S. killed 32,885 people and injured 2,239,000. That should make a good argument (especially around the number of crashes); but those numbers—fatalities especially—have been going down. And how much do people, or industry, actually care? Consider that the third leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Center for Disease Control (after heart attacks and cancer) is medical error. The Journal of Patient Safety puts the medical error fatality total in the U.S. at between 210,000 and 440,000 per year. Many studies suggest that a large percentage of those deaths could be prevented with better patient information, which today is scattered among many health care providers with incompatible systems that barely communicate with each other, much less doctors and patients. Yet reform, both within the health care industry and within legislative and regulatory systems, has ranged from difficult (e.g. the Affordable Care Act) to impossible—at least in the US. Would the insurance industry, which basically runs health care in the U.S. (the vast majority of payments are B2B, not C2B), welcome self-driving cars? If so, that would help the cause. But insurance itself is a shell game, depending on a high degree of knowledge asymmetry to the advantage of insurance companies over other players, including car makers and owners. Insurance companies might prefer the game they know over one that would put far more power in other hands, such as the government, car owners and the likes of Google. If that turns out to be the case, the car insurance industry might be as reluctant to reform driving as the health insurance industry has been to reform medical care, with far more cause. We have been waiting for robots to take over since we could first imagine them. Yet the most popular uses of robots today are ones that challenge and expand human skills and degrees of control—battlebots, for example. The most appealing technologies for people are the ones that enlarge human capacities through indwelling. It is through indwelling that our senses extend outward through our tools, and our vehicles. Our skis, skates, hammers, and screwdrivers become extensions of our senses and our capacities in the world. When the driver says ‘my wheels’ and ‘my engine,’ she means it literally. Indwelling through tools and systems that augment our own intelligence and skill has always been a deeply rooted human characteristic, and will continue to be so, even if much of what humans do can be replaced. So don’t expect robots to replace much other than that which robots can do better, such as assemble a car.”

Marc Prensky, director of the Global Future Education Foundation and Institute, wrote, No. “We have to, and will, invent new jobs for people to do. And they will have to be jobs that are symbiotic with machines. We are now, as humans, on a ‘Quest for Digital Wisdom,’—i.e. we are just at the beginning of learning how to combine what brains do best with what machines do better. If everyone in the 10 percent of humans with the top earning power were to take responsibility for employing just 9 other people in addition to whatever technology they use, we would be at 100 percent employment. The penetration of AI and robotics will be close to 100 percent in many areas. It will be similar to the penetration of cell phones today: over 2/3 of the world now have and use them daily. There will, of course be variation, but more by income and social class than by sector.”

Dan Coates, of Ypulse wrote, Yes. “A great thinker in this space is Tyler Cowen who in his book ‘Average is Over’ outlines a dual track economic reality wherein those who leverage automation enjoy an escalating standard of living, while those displaced by automation descend into a dramatically reduced standard of living. Our faith in our fellow man is at an all-time low: The Metro-North train conductor who ‘zoned out’ on the job speeding a train into a 30-mile-an-hour corner and killing four. The sleep-deprived airline pilot who crashed a Colgan/Continental flight and killing 50 in 2009 linger in recent memory. Our dependency on technology to manage and protect us will only increase as our environment continues to complexity beyond our comprehension.”

Joe Kochan, chief operating officer for US Ignite, a company developing gigabit-ready digital experiences and applications, observed, No. “The design, programming, and creation of these devices and robots will still require, in 2025, more effort than they replace. These robots will, however, change the kind of work people do—robots will replace service and manufacturing jobs, but will open up more possibilities in tech and development. More and more small daily interactions with robots/AI are likely. For instance, I can imagine most if not all retail checkout interactions replaced with machines (or with RFID or other scanning technology).”

Tom Standage, digital editor for The Economist, wrote, Yes. “They will. Previous technological revolutions happened much more slowly, so people had longer to retrain; and previous revolutions moved people from one kind of unskilled work to another. Robots and AI threaten to make even some kinds of skilled work obsolete (e.g. legal clerks); this will displace people into service roles, and the income gap between skilled workers whose jobs cannot be automated and everyone else will widen. This is a recipe for instability. Self-driving vehicles promise to upend existing approaches to car ownership, car design, car sales and insurance, urban planning, logistics/deliveries/taxi services, etc. That will be a big change, as significant as the advent of smartphones.”

Ben Fuller, dean of humanities and sustainable development at the International University of Management in Windhoek, replied, Yes. “This is a ‘yes, but …’ answer. Yes, there will be significant changes to all levels of the workforce that are brought about by robots, digital agents, and AI tools. As someone who joined the workforce when we had to use mimeographs (no photocopiers) and years before fax machines, I can attest to the fact that this transition is well behind us. We have already adapted to the disruptions of digital technology to our working lives and will continue to do so. Look at Skype, Twitter, blogs, email, digital publishing and so forth. These technologies came and we changed. Quickly, ask yourself how many typists you have at Pew or Elon? Forty years ago you might have said lots. Ask your supervisors for an additional post for a typist because you don’t want to do it anymore and see what they say! :-) Now, the thing about new technologies and employment is usually a trade-off. Yes, people lose their jobs, but others are created. Economists have probably developed all sorts of formulae and projections to measure this. There are of course options such as retraining of workers, or long term educational objectives that can ameliorate the impacts of robotics and AI. However, I want to get to the ‘but …’ part of my answer. Just because there is a technology that exists to replace jobs, it doesn’t mean that it has to be adopted. Here in post-apartheid Namibia we had a labour-based road construction policy. Back in the early 1990s (we became independent in 1990) we had a lot of poorly skilled and unemployed people and a major need for infrastructure ion the areas where the majority of our people lived. The government put out many tenders for roads that specifically required contractors to hire people living alongside the route of the roads instead of using machines. Of course these requirements were limited to those components of road construction that were most suited for labour-based methods, the costs of administration for all these employees was added to the contracts and completion deadlines were often longer. Even today many government funded capital projects contain a labour-based component in the original tender documents and awarded contracts. To take this example further, our capitol city, Windhoek has street sweepers and recently introduced a very effective recycling programme that does not required pre-sorting. In both cases machines and automated processes can do the job faster and for lower costs, but the city government had decided that the social benefit of not adopting these technologies and employing people to do the work outweighs any direct savings. Increasingly we will see work places, institutions and societies debate the benefits of new technologies and these debates will include the social impacts of adoption. The important thing to remember is that we have a choice to adopt one hundred per cent, partially or not at all. As an anthropologist working in Namibia for the past 32 years, I have lived in some pretty remote places with people often considered among the most original of Africa. My experience with technology adoption is that people will take to innovations that are most relevant to their lives. Namibia is twice the size of California with only 2.2 million people. There is a lot of space between people. It is not surprising that we have far more cell phone accounts than we have people. Similarly ATM cards are common. In both cases communication and moving money over long distances is a problem and people adapt to the technologies that make life better for themselves and others. Globally we will find that a mosaic of technologies and the levels to which they are adopted and adapted to local conditions will be the case.”

Tony Jebara, an associate professor of computer science at Columbia University wrote, Yes. “Most people would rather not work if they didn’t have to. All routine tasks will be automated.”

David Evan Harris wrote, Yes. “This is inevitable, but hopefully we can mitigate this problem by shortening the work week from five to three days for most workers, increasing the minimum wage, and, as such, creating more jobs.”

Larry Magid wrote, Yes. “Globally there will be fewer manufacturing jobs and robotics might also cut into such occupations and professional drivers and home service workers. While there will be more need for engineers, software developers and people to maintain and repair robots, it’s hard to see how these could offset the enormous number of factory jobs that will be lost. BUT (for better or worse depending on your view), it could shift jobs from the developing world back to wealthier countries because manufacturing will become less labor intensive and there will be a need for more highly skilled workers who are closer to where products and services will be used. People won’t have to drive cars unless they want to, senior citizens and people with disabilities will be able to live more independently. But there will still be a need or at least the desire for the ‘human touch’ in services where that matters.”

Sivasubramanian Muthusamy of the Internet Society chapter in Chennai, India, wrote, No. “New technology has always created new jobs while taking away jobs from the technology that was rendered obsolete. The Natural Law is too complex to understand, it some how works in a manner that there are corresponding developments when major positive changes occur. Robotics will find increasing application in manufacturing, storage, surgery (as aid to surgeons, to make the surgeon’s job easier and more precise), aviation (as an aid to pilots). AI would be part of smaller devices that manage domestic and industrial tasks, in military tasks such as mine sweeping, in hazardous tasks etc., but would not be so advanced as envisaged in motions pictures such as AI.”

Peter and Trudy Johnson-Lenz, founders of the online community Awakening Technology, based in Portland, Oregon, wrote, Yes. “It’s likely that in the name of greater efficiency and the need to keep growing the global economy, more robotic devices, embedded systems, and artificial intelligence will be deployed, and conventional jobs will be displaced. However, as people lose jobs, they can’t continue to consume at the same levels, and consumer spending is currently 70% of the US economy according to Robert Reich. Similarly, the growing global economy is rapidly depleting the natural ecosystems on which it depends, and this cannot continue forever. So the short-term economic efficiencies brought about through the use of these technologies will have many unintended negative consequences. If the global economy is reinvented within a generation to work *with* the grain of natural and human systems (no more externalities), then these technologies have a greater chance to be deployed in more socially responsible ways. There will be incentives and education to create new ways of serving others that provide meaning and purpose. New technologies always change and disrupt older work systems and roles (think: travel agents replaced by on-line travel services), but new vocations and roles develop to fill needs and niches. Whether these are well-matched to those who have been displaced and are in equal proportion depends on social policies and institutional incentives. By 2025, the concept of a ‘job’ may also have changed. People need meaningful things to do that tap their gifts and potentials. They also need livelihoods or other means to support themselves. Many things need to be done to care for, teach, feed, and heal others that are difficult to monetize. If technologies replace people in some jobs and roles, what kinds of social support or safety nets will make it possible for them to contribute to the common good through other means? Think outside the job.”

Peng Hwa Ang, director of the Singapore Internet Research Center at Nanyang Technological University, replied, No. “All the evidence from new technologies is that any displacement is more than offset by new jobs created. And the reason is that the technologies create value, benefitting the economy and enabling new jobs elsewhere in the economy. I’ve not given this much thought so I am not able to comment.”

Cathy Davidson, co-director of the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge at Duke University and co-founder and principal administrator of the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition, wrote, Yes. “I suspect they will create more jobs but not secure, well-paying jobs with benefits unless there are massive worldwide worker and non-worker strikes. AI robotics are already part of the landscape. Drones too. That will only increase.”

Michael Glassman, an associate professor at Ohio State University, wrote, No. “We have known about robotic culture since 1945 and Vannevar Bush. There will be greater differentiation between what AI does and what humans do, but also much more realization that AI will not be able to engage the critical tasks that humans do. AI will do a few more things, but people are going to be surprised how limited it is.”

Tom Hood, CEO of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants, responded, No. “They will replace some existing jobs and open up new jobs, although requiring higher education and skill levels.”

Janet Salmons, a PhD and Independent researcher and writer with Vision2Lead Inc., wrote, No. “I expect that the landscape of work will change. I anticipate that there will be more ‘hybrid’ jobs with some tasks done by AI agents and others by real humans. With any luck, the humans will be able to focus on more creative, innovative efforts with mundane and repetitive tasks completed by AI agents or robots. An optimistic view of social consequences is that our education will focus on higher order and creative thinking with the expectation that AI agents or robots will be taking care of the tasks that require lower levels of thinking. I hope this means we’ll focus more on experiential, problem-based learning and less on preparing people to take tests. (Let the robots take the tests!) Janet Salmons I expect that we’ll see a hybrid landscape emerge with the presence of more AI agents or robots. I am hoping they’ll take care of the boring stuff so humans can reach their potential as creative, insightful, loving beings.”

Michael Maranda, president of the Association for Community Networking and board member with the Emerging Futures Network, replied, Yes. “It will be a close call, close to break even if not exceeding. Blue-collar and white-collar work is already seeing heavy disruption from automation and technology—are we to limit our comparison to those functions that are networked and involve AI? The question is whether and how much the AI and robotics will serve and answer to the general population—i.e. the extent to which we can adjust settings, modify code. My dystopian sense is that the AI and robotics will serve well resources entities: corporations and government, and not serve individuals or community groups directly.”

Mikey O’Connor, one of two elected representatives to ICANN’s GNSO Council, representing the ISP and connectivity provider constituency, wrote, No. “Bottom: Definitely not. There will always be a lot of jobs that are more cheaply performed by extremely low-wage humans than technology. Middle: Probably yes. Technology will probably make big inroads here, since that’s where the biggest total payoff lies Top: Probably yes. The higher the wage, the more cost-effective the displacement. So the percentage displacement may be higher. But the total economic impact may be less since there are fewer jobs in this stratum The 1%: Definitely not. These people aren’t here because they work, they’re here because they make deals (or inherited the fruits of deals past) and technology can’t replace what they do. Bottom: Life at the grinding bottom of the income ladder will be largely unchanged, with any hope of improvement coming from other sectors and technologies. Middle: Life in the middle will be changed dramatically. A decreasing few will graduate into wealth and comfort, most will slip towards the bottom. The middle will continue to become a smaller proportion of the population. Robotic and AI technology, once hoped to mitigate this trend, again disappoints. Top: Professional are coming under increasing pressure and have joined the middle class on the knife-edge between jumping up or sliding down. Their lives will become ever more stressful as they fight to maintain their position. The 1%: Life at the top will not change much, although it will be more luxurious (if that’s possible to imagine).”

Sylvia Caras, an activist and leader of the People Who organization, wrote, No. “Low-end jobs will be more and more displaced, leading to increased truancy, poverty, and so on. Computers and software brought the opportunity to do more, and tasks have expanded. So with robots, people will do less physical work and it will take them longer.”

Dan Farber, longtime technology journalist and editor, wrote, No. “The AI world has coming for decades. By 2025, AI will continue to have more impact in factories, medicine and other areas of industrial production. Self-driving cars and personal robots way beyond Roomba vacuum cleaners will just begin to gain more mainstream adoption, but will still be geared for the technorati and commercial use.”

Lucas Gonze, a survey participant who chose not to share additional identifying details, wrote, No. “Technology advances are a tool of creative destruction. There is no reason to think AIs and bots represent a different sort of creative destruction that destroys jobs without also creating them.”

John Wilbanks, chief commons officer for Sage Bionetworks, wrote, Yes. “There remain enormous market gaps where digital tools can replace people, from parking lot attendants to call centers to checkout lanes in retail. Those jobs will go and won’t come back. Basic transactions are already highly automated and the degree of complexity of the transaction that can be automated will increase.”

Micha Benolie, CEO and co-founder of Open Garden, wrote, No. “Robots will enable the creation of new environments that will impact local life and enable more and more people to spend time on studying and learning as access to knowledge also becomes ubiquitous. This will disrupt the way we are used to work in centralized organizations and enable the emergence of a new type of horizontal organizations. Ultimately it will lead to a better distribution of wealth and as basic needs can be met by a larger group of the earth population, this disruption leads to an acceleration of innovations and new enabling technologies. This also accelerates the demand for more scientific, engineering and research jobs. Robots and AI are feeing up some of our time that we can now spend for learning more, entertaining more or spending more time with families and friends.”

Dean Thrasher, founder of Infovark Inc., wrote, Yes. “More and more fields seem ripe for automation, but it’s hard to think of areas of our economy that are suffering from lack of staff. Possibly teaching or healthcare? Yet we are applying more robotics and AI in these fields as well. I think technology’s negative impact on employment is likely to grow worse in the near future, rather than better. Virtually all parts of life will be affected by AI and robotics. Most parts of our lives have been invaded by them, though we hardly recognize it. (Think of the amount of computing power now present in the average car.) It’s easier to think of the few areas that will be resistant to robotics: sports leagues, symphony orchestras, craft brewing, ballet, fine art. If the human touch is not essential to the task, it’s fair to assume that it could be automated away.”

Fred Zimmerman of Pagekicker.com wrote, No. “As with all automation, people will be forced to migrate up the value chain to add more complex services, or to provide services that only humans can supply. Net positive. There will be no strong AI by 2025. Self-driving cars seem possible.”

Dave Kissoondoyal, CEO for KMP Global Ltd. and Internet consultant active in Internet governance activities, wrote, Yes. “We have already witnessed the effects of mechanisation and automation on the labour force. Similarly networked, automated, artificial intelligence (AI) applications and robotic devices would have displaced more jobs than they have created by 2025. The effects this time would be for both white and blue-collar jobs. By 2025, each and every device in the world will be networked. From the home with the fridge, rice cooker to the public train, every device or accessory in the world will be networked.”

William Schrader, the co-founder and CEO of PSINet Inc., the first commercial ISP, observed, Yes. “Let’s start by imagining self-driving vehicles eventually working flawlessly and inexpensively in 2025. In that case, you imagine why anyone would need taxi drivers in 2025? Or truck drivers? Or limo drivers? Or pilots? Or boat/ship captains? Whether you call these white or blue-collar jobs, if self-driving vehicles become reliable then how could we still have these jobs? In fact, why would we drive to the grocery store to pick up fresh food? We can already place the order on the Internet, the store picks what we want and (in 2025) the automatic self-driving truck would make the delivery to our doorstep (in some fashion). IF self-driving vehicles are working flawlessly, and they spread across the planet within the next 25 years, then people will eventually forget how to drive. It is a concept like ‘rolling down the window,’ after all, these rolling machines were replaced with electric switches for the past 20 years. People will still need to go places, and they will say ‘I am going to drive over’ but perhaps no one will drive. But, the answer is no. By 2025, society will NOT allow free roving self-driving vehicles. It will take longer to have society embrace this change. And job loss will be one of the major contributing factors to the slow adoption. Robotics is today’s word for (very smart) labor-saving devices. The dishwasher, for example, reduced the time it took to clean dishes. And, when working properly, all dishwashers increase the sanitary environment of the restaurant, apartment or home. No one calls a dishwasher a robot. The same can be said for automated heating systems and water heaters, toasters, or whatever. So what robot supported by AI will be standard in the home in 11 years? Even five years after the robotic vacuum was introduced, how many people actually own and use one? Eleven years is not long enough to allow the general population to adopt robotics. It will take more time.”

George Lessard, information curator and communications and media specialist at MediaMentor.ca, wrote, Yes. “There is nothing in the history of AI to make one think that there will be more jobs in 2025 because on AI. In fact I believe just the opposite is true. Thank goodness I am an artist and I believe artistic creation will never be supplanted by AI, but then, I’m an idealist. I suspect they will be ubiquitous.”

David Bollier, a long-time scholar and activist focused on the commons, responded, Yes. “See the work of Erik Brynjolfsson, director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.”

Brian Butler, a professor at the University of Maryland, responded, No. “Most of the job losses are related to (a) shifting labor intensive work to parts of the world where labor is inexpensive [often enabled by communication and transportation technologies] and (b) relatively mundane automation (which is more reliable than AI). There is little evidence that large scale shifts in employment areas are clearly attributable to AI/Robotics (despite fears of this occurring for the last 30-50 years) A key issue with this is risk management—how do we handle mistakes/errors/failures. The reality is that people are still better for this (if only because they can be held accountable/sued/fired/etc.). This said—we probably will continue to see deskilling and reduced wages in many areas due to these technologies (and in new areas). On one hand these technologies will continue to be integrated into all aspects of live/work/etc. Were the consequences of nonsense, failure, error are acceptable we will learn to tolerate them and accept them as normal. In areas where the consequences are hard to see (because we don’t really think about how people handled exceptions and risk well) we will see cycles of overuse and then learning (individually and collectively) how to not over-rely on them.”

Kalev Leetaru, Yahoo fellow in residence at Georgetown University, wrote, Yes. “They will displace manual labor jobs, but will create higher-paying jobs to build and maintain the algorithms and hardware. They won’t be completely widespread due to massive further work needed on machine vision and other areas that will need to be solved before they enter production service, but I believe they will increasingly run specialized areas first like train service, then moving to things like trucking, etc.”

Deborah Lupton wrote, No. “These technologies will displace some jobs, but they will also create others. Humans will always have the need for affective and embodied interactions with other humans, which can never be replaced by robots. This will particularly be the case in the context of healthcare, education, childcare and the care of the elderly. The attempted introduction of too many robotic devices may well lead to a backlash, in which humans who can provide care and education will become valued.”

Nishant Shah, a visiting professor at The Centre for Digital Cultures at Leuphana University in Germany, wrote, No. “While traditional jobs might be performed by machines and automated technologies, there will always be more jobs and more kinds of jobs which are catalysed by the emergence of such technologies. The quantum of job might change geography, and we might see machine-based care industries emerging in new parts of the world, effecting new migration patterns through the global flow, but the number of jobs are not merely going to decrease or deplete because the machines take over. The primary function of care robots or companion AIs is to be invisible. They are already ubiquitous in the world that we live in, but largely they work under the surface, and below the networks. The advancements in nano technologies and wearable computing is going more in the direction of creating tools that we do not see, and thus lives become more efficient, we create human centric technologies, and the futuristic spectacles of hypervisual techs are never really going to be realised.”

Matias Perel, a respondent who chose not to share more identifying details, wrote, No. ”AI devices such as Watson are likely to not only do smart jobs easily but also help us think how we could better unemployment ratios by country by providing healthy jobs that machines can not do in an efficient or emotional manner. McDonalds will employ fewer people. Tolls will be automated. There will be fewer people at banks. There will be AI devices in use at hospitals but also more people (doctors and nurses) to help patients from an emotional standpoint.”

Rex Troumbley, a graduate research assistant at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, wrote, No. “We can expect robots, artificial intelligences, and other artilects to increasingly displace human labor, especially in wealthy parts of the world. We may see the emergence of a new economy not based upon wage labor and could be realizing the benefits of full unemployment (getting rid of the need to work in order to survive), but we may also see an increase in unpaid micro-labor such as the kind currently relied upon by Google, Facebook, Twitter, and many other companies which get users to volunteer time or energy toward certain ends uncompensated. In wealthy parts of the world, it is likely that AI and robotics will become more ordinary, but in poorer regions of the world human labor will continue to be the primary tools of production.”

Frank Pasquale, a law professor at a state university, wrote, Yes. “Martin Ford’s The Light in the Tunnel and Ray Kurzweil’s work give the essential arguments. But they key here is not that there is some predetermined path tech will take. Rather, current levels of inequality will be reinforced by robotization as more of these computers are used both to a) do present human-performed jobs better and b) suppress dissent or political action designed to better distribute the gains from technological advance. Think about Occupy Wall Street being dispersed on its first day by land-based robotic policemen and aerial LRADs. They will make the lives of the top 5% or so a virtual paradise, and will surveil and discipline the bottom 95% to keep them in line. Mix Tyler Cowen with Robin Hanson, and you have the answer.”

Reggie Henry, a respondent who chose not to share additional identifying details, replied, No. “The level of innovation we see will create new jobs. Folks will have to create, maintain, and service robots, equipment, etc. I think the major effect will be a shift of jobs and a redefinition of what ‘white’ and ‘blue’ collar mean.”

Mary Joyce, an Internet researcher and digital activism consultant, replied, Yes. “To the extent that human workers can be replaced by robots and algorithms, they will be. There’s no reason to believe that firms would behave in any other ways. And social forces, like unions, that would limit these actions, don’t have the strength to prevent these changes. Customer service, which firms have been trying to automate and outsource to the frustration of customers, are likely to adopt interactive automated customer service agents more sophisticated than current voice-recognition systems. Games and personal productivity apps are also likely to adopt this technology—an automated personal assistant for all. Siri will be seen as the grandmother of these new applications.”

Rui Correia, the founding director of Netday Namibia, a non-profit supporting information and communications technologies for education and development, replied, Yes. “This question should have allowed a ‘maybe’ response, since such impact will largely depend on economic and educational status of any region; some regions will simply not have reached any state of technological advancement to be impacted by AI and robotics by 2025. Regionally I suspect that first world and emerging economies will see much more AI and robotics—in transport, banking and communication sectors—impacting on the amount of time consumed doing the mundane.”

Liza Potts, an assistant professor and senior researcher for writing in digital environments at Michigan State University, replied, No. “Invariably, we will create new experiences based off of these new technologies. But I do not see a dystopian future that has all of us sedated on our couches by our robot overlords. If we are correct about ubiquitous computing, these ‘robots’ and ‘AI’ will be more unseen than seen. I suspect that life will be augmented in a positive way, provided we are doing so in order to enhance human experience.”

Jesse Stay, founder of Stay N’ Alive Productions, wrote, No. “It will displace blue-collar and manufacturing jobs. There will be a much stronger, and greater need for engineering, and STEM-related jobs. Those in manufacturing and blue-collar work will be forced into these types of positions. The economy will work itself out on this front. At the same time, the sharing economy will empower individuals to a more socialized, community-driven economy where people sell to each other. The way people do business will change, and people will be more empowered to do business. Jobs won’t go away though—what we call ‘a job’ will change. Change will be significant. Manufacturing as we know it will be different. People will be able to print their phones at home, or right at the store. Large factories will no longer be necessary. Large warehouses won’t be necessary, because robotic devices, drones, and other vehicles will be able to pick up goods straight from one consumer and deliver them to another consumer.”

Serge Marelli, a past member of IEEE and ACM, wrote, Yes. “This is a sad fact, but automated cars can cheaply replace public transportation drivers. Automated cleaners and caregivers might very well replace human-help and caretakers for the sick and elderly. While this may seem in the short term more economic, it will be a fatal blow to the last local jobs for those with less skills (formal education). The building and assembly of this robotic help will be done in countries where labor costs less, not in our countries.”

Daniel Miller, a professor at University College in London, responded, Yes. “ The question is problematic. Digital agents will displace more jobs than they will create, but actually far more important will be the increasing use of digital agents as an effective part of people’s jobs allowing them to do things that are not currently possible. I suspect as now the main usage will be in less visible infrastructure and work environment. But there will be an expansion of clever toys and gimmicks that appeal to modern mass consumption.”

Vytautas Butrimas, the chief adviser to a major government’s ministry, with 23 years experience in ICT and defense policy, responded, No. “Robotics and the assembly line have been with us for a long time. The jobs are still there but they now require more specialised training and skills. It seems there is a decline in general education while the elites continue to become more educated and more likely to get the high level jobs. The divide between the ‘educated’ and ‘less educated’ is growing wider. By 2025 we will have experienced our first major social unrest from this. AI and robotics will change the way we interact with other members of society. The tendency will be toward more social isolation and fewer human to human contacts take place. Just look at what is happening at our airport waiting lounges. People sit next to each other but the interaction is not taking place with the neighbor sitting nearby but with a device communicating to some other device. The world will be more bureaucratic and ‘cold’ in 2025 than it is today.”

Emmanuel Edet, a global Internet policy advocate, wrote, Yes. “There will be a balance here to avoid a fall out and resistance from the governed. Yes I agree that automated beings and processes will disrupt jobs but this same automation may actually increase productivity in terms of economic goods and services. Since the consumption pattern of robots are not the same as those of humans they may be used to create products and services for humans at no cost thus satisfying the needs and wants which humans actually work for. All processes would be automated but human procreation would not be affected.

Robert E. McGrath, an Internet pioneer and software engineer who participated in developing the World Wide Web and advanced interfaces, replied, “AI will not reduce total jobs, though many will change. This is what has always happened. AI might aid the continuing, pernicious concentration of wealth and power, which reduces both employment and economic growth. But AI is not the culprit in this case. AI is already part of the ordinary landscape (depending on your definition of AI and the ordinary landscape). The part that will remain unchanged: the foundations of human life—love, family, touching and being touched. Everything else will change, but they matter relatively little.”

David Orban, CEO of Dotsub, wrote, No. “From a global perspective it is of fundamental importance to distinguish between the adoption and disruption felt in societies that are more receptive to technological advances and those that are more protective of their traditional ways of life. For example the US belongs to the first group, while parts of Europe and India belong to the second. The flexibility and dynamism of legislation will be a necessary infrastructural basis, similarly to how right of way legislation allowed phone systems or the cable industry to flourish, or how spectrum allocation enabled the mobile industry to emerge. On a global scale the little more than 10 years from today will see the strengthening of tools that can leverage existing endpoints that are already deployed, or that can achieve a wide penetration rapidly. Cloud based digital agents relying on smarter smartphones, and powerful local computation will be easier to utilize widely than physical robots in any specific form or function. The progressive availability of more and more robust AI systems, with deeper predictive power and broader contextual understanding will make them almost invisible. The people who are not specialists of the field will react to their advances being pointed out with a sense of natural acceptance because the progressive arrival of better and better features and performance will have created a sense of familiarity. It will be natural to talk to computers of any shape, and expect them to understand the words, and the meaning, and to establish a dialog leading rapidly to the desired goal. Elderly care, personalized health, and learning, are some of the areas where these systems will be pervasive.

Massimo Micucci wrote, “At this stage we see a growth of new employment in ‘environments’ with a strong creative economy .disruption is guaranteed , but we also see that new functions and personalized needs are also growing with new jobs . What i see very difficult and unforeseen is the transition and amount of this new jobs o activities Hardest jobs will be easier, personalized production will be enhanced , but the need of direct human experiences, need for training and education, socialization, emotional experience, body care, lifestyle care will remain crucial and will need different responses and answers.”

Gary McGraw, the CTO for Cigital Inc., known as a father of software security, wrote, No. “Jobs will shift, but they will not be destroyed. This is completely normal. People will do less manual labor and grunt work.”

Jamie LaRue, a writer, speaker, consultant on library, technology, and public-sector issues, wrote, No. “The result of rapidly improving technology is not unemployment; it is a SHIFT in employment. The lower level jobs will disappear. But new ones, designing and managing those systems, will grow exponentially. The Internet of Things means that a lot of the devices in our lives will anticipate our needs. In theory, that should liberate a lot of our time. What will we do with it? I don’t know. Will this be a boon to our leisure time, like the adoption of the five-day week? Or will it be more like smartphones—a way to keep us working through the weekend?”

Catherine Antoine, online managing editor for Radio Free Asia, wrote, “New jobs will emerge. Parts changed: by 2025, domestic life will include more robots in the home for example. Parts unchanged: our needs for down time, for social time, for work time will be the same.”

Bob Ubell, vice dean for online learning at New York University, wrote, Yes. “Since there is no choice in one’s response to the question—one must indicate either ‘yes’ or ‘no’—I’d rather say, ‘not sure,’ since the history of technological advances can go either way. In some economic transitions, technological innovation can spur economic growth, creating vast new industries, with large new worker populations; but in other periods, technological advances can have the opposite effect, causing older industries to shed millions of workers. It’s far too soon tell. In the meantime, for digital and other advanced technologies, the immediate effect of ‘creative destruction’ will more often be the loss of jobs. But as history tells us, once initial destructive tendencies displace workers, some industries emerge with greater economic power beyond the overturned industry, creating large-scale new industries requiring a even a larger labor force than the one displaced. But there is no guarantee that that will be the result in the industries identified. Again, this is very hard to predict, since these new industries are in relative infancy and it all depends on the long-term economic advantages they hold for capitalist transformation of the labor market. If these new industries can generate greater profits, they may succeed, so long as they are able to attract consumer confidence in changes for the better, in lifestyle and work.”

Michael Wollowski, an associate professor at a leading institute of technology, wrote, No. “Advances in AI will create opportunities rather than displace jobs. I think there will be a whole host of new jobs that we cannot even think about at this time and I think that jobs that use AI technologies will be more interesting, provide better services and will create a better society. Now that IBM made Watson available through the cloud I think that in 2015, we will see a world that is as unrecognizable to us now as the web-infused world of today must have been to people in the mid ‘90s. I believe that AI and robotics will change all aspects of life.”

Marsali Hancock, president and CEO of the Internet Keep Safe Coalition, wrote, No. “Jobs have always been displaced and created as new technology is implemented. Technology provides both opportunities for new types of employment and also disrupts some industries.”

Jan Schaffer, executive director of J-Lab, developing innovative digital journalism, replied, Yes. “But that doesn’t mean quality or service will improve. And we will appreciate it when (and if) we are able to get a real human on the phone. And I fear how much electioneering and running for office will be masterminded or disrupted by technology. We will be helped by better design, medical advances, cheaper manufacturing that might not have to be outsourced to other countries. We could even be helped by AI-driven solutions to problems—if we will accept the recommendations.”

Vanda Scartezini, a partner in Polo Consultores Associados, based in Brazil, responded, No. “The concept of ‘job’ changes as the world evolves. New tasks to be accomplish will demand people to do so. Programming robots, automation in general will demand lots of experts. At the same time it will be a search for natural issues, demanding a lot of human touch and consequently jobs in such area will have growth. Progress always brings uncertainty to humans, but until now humankind was able to find alternatives and it will continue to do. The Internet of Things is almost a reality even in developing countries like Brazil, but still not totally touching day-to-day life. Some isolated solutions are already in place, like pets control in general, and it will start to influence our quotidian life as a natural alternative in four or five years or so. Automation of processes in homes shall be the direction to assure sustainable growth for the IoT and robots.”

Steve Jones, a distinguished professor of communications at the University of Illinois-Chicago, replied, No. “I don’t see these technologies displacing jobs so much as creating work for themselves and for us. It’ll be a part of everyday life, something we’ll encounter in routine interactions, much as we’ve grown used to encountering automated voice response systems presently.”

Thomas Keller, the head of product management, domains, at 1&1 Internet wrote, No. “Robotics are in general a more complicated technology than for example the Web technologies. It will therefore at the beginning be mainly aimed at easy tasks as we already see today (lawnmowers…) and eventually move on to adding security features in the manufacturing and automotive space. They will certainly play a key role in the change of complete and permanent individual transportation (everybody has his own car) towards individual transportation on demand.”

Russell Bailey, the director of the library at Providence College, wrote, Yes. “This is not necessarily true (more so of blue-collar than white-collar jobs), but the propensity for narrow job-training instead of broader career-training will restrict and limit employability for many, until or unless they accept longer-range, broader career-training as the default path to ongoing employability. Dr. Russell Bailey: to a relatively high degree, especially in transportation, inventory control, health/vital-signs monitoring, personalized/individualized consumption preferences (entertainment, apparel, food/drink, travel, etc.). Those people, who doggedly follow habits (especially consumption habits) will likely be seen as more intractable, less influenceable and changeable, and will be relatively ignored by ‘smart’ (AI, robotic) tools.”

Karl Fogel, a partner with Open Tech Strategies and president of QuestionCopyright.org, wrote, Yes. “The reason people are investing in machine agents is precisely that they will replace more (lower-paid) humans than the number of (more highly-paid) humans needed to build and maintain the machines. But this is not a new phenomenon—it’s been going on for more than a century. We’re going to have to come to grips with a long-term employment crisis and the fact that (strictly from an economic point of view, not a moral point of view) there are more and more ‘surplus humans.’ Actually, I think the terms ‘AI’ and ‘robotics’ are both too ill-defined to be meaningful concepts. As far as I can tell, a ‘robot’ is ‘a software-controlled machine capable of movement, where the software and hardware are arranged in such a way that humans to anthropomorphize the machine.’ Similarly with AI. Thus discussions about AI and robotics seem to me more about human psychology than about technology.”

Tom Folkes, an Internet professional, replied, Yes. “We will shortly be able to replace low level information workers. These being teachers, lawyers and librarians. In the not distant future taxi, bus and truck drivers. Delivery and food workers will be replaced by 3D printing. The number of people required to develop these systems will be relatively small. The life of most knowledge workers will change. Much of this work is duplicated. There will also be a greater ability to move information between different techs. We will also learn from prior experience. Currently FEMA does not maintain a knowledge base. Everything is approached as if it is the first time event. I can’t think of an area that won’t be impacted.”

Chen Jiangong, an Internet business analyst in China, responded, No. “Somebody said the Internet would reduce jobs but some reports indicate that the Internet’s development has created 2.4 to 2.6 jobs for every one it disrupts. I believe there will be new jobs although some white-collar and blue-collar jobs are disrupted. On the other hand, jobs will change. We may work fewer hours than now. AI and robotics will change our lives very much. Maybe we won’t find we are dealing with a real person when we enjoy some services. but one part that won’t change is art. In fact, I believe that many jobs will be creative, such as writing, cooking, and so on.”

Elizabeth Albrycht, a senior lecturer in marketing and communications at the Paris School of Business, replied, Yes. “My answer depends on your definition of the word ‘job.’ If we consider ‘jobs’ as they are generally thought of today, either in blue-collar or white-collar, the displacement will be extraordinary. And the answer will be yes. But we cannot assume that ‘jobs’ will stay the same. Our ways of making a living are going to shift at the same time. However, policy and people shift more slowly than technology, so I suspect that in 2025 we will still be suffering through structural changes that are heart-wrenching, even though we will already be seeing tremendous benefits in terms of cost of goods, ease of movement and longevity. By 2025 we may well be witnessing the disappearance of AI and robotics INTO the ordinary landscape as they follow the usual path of technology. First we see it, then it becomes ‘invisible’ as it integrates into the landscape itself. I think in many ways our usual lives with family, friends won’t change too much. What will change is our expectations and use of objects, our mobility, and the amount of ‘free time’ we have (more).”

Michael Slavitch, principal architect at Diablo Technologies, wrote, No. “The complexity of human behavior is underestimated as is the low cost of human labor. Partial solutions will dominate. Parking aids, automatic mowers and the like. People underestimate the value and convenience of cheap labour.”

S. Craig Watkins, a professor and author based at the University of Texas-Austin, replied, Yes. “This is already happening and while the rise of intelligent machines will contribute to the loss of jobs it will also create new jobs—managing, designing, building, and managing the new systems that will emerge. The challenge is will those new jobs require high skills that only a select portion of the population will be able to acquire? In general, the jobs loss will not likely be matched by the jobs created, thus creating a net loss of jobs overall.”

Ray Schroeder, associate vice chancellor for online learning at the University of Illinois-Springfield, wrote, Yes. “Certainly, jobs will be displaced, but others will be created. The social consequences will emerge from the continued shift from the physical/industrial world to the information/knowledge world. Manufacturing will advanced by robotics and such technologies as 3D printing. Customization will rule. By 2025 the most radical changes will come from the virtual extension of memory and knowledge. To the degree that the automobile outdistanced the horse, so will we see robotics with seamless mind-interfaces outdistance human strength, endurance, and even fine motor skills. Robotics will make our extended bodies tireless, precise, and powerful. Artificial intelligence will double-check our mind-fatigued judgment with recommendations of potentially wiser decisions that take into account far more variables than most of us regularly consider now.”

Aliza Sherman, a new media entrepreneur and author, wrote, No. “There are too many barriers to robots and AI taking over the world much less jobs. As with any industry, there will be things that can be automated or handled by machines, but there will always be need for humans in one way or another. And new industries forming requiring people. Guess I’m not very dystopian. We’ll see the greatest changes in the area of least resistance and most basic usefulness. Household, for example. Cleaning, managing, tracking, watching. Greater public acceptance will happen where there are convenience benefits.”

Brian Newby, an election commissioner in Kansas, responded, Yes. “In particular, I expect AI applications to replace many public safety personnel.”

Frederic Litto, a professor emeritus at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, responded, Yes. “The first time I visited communist countries, in 1969, I was impressed by the fact that in theatres and opera houses there were a dozen coat-and-hat-check ladies—very different from the single lady struggling to check coats and hats in Broadway theatres. It taught me the lesson that once a society has promised its members that all citizens have the right to have dignified work, as well as free access to education and health services, things have to be organized to made that happen. As machines take over the drudgery of uncreative work, it behooves us to reorganize our workforce so that redundant workers can be shifted to those occupations which make life easier and more fulfilling for everyone, assuming those tasks which machines (whatever their level of intelligence) cannot possibly do as well as humans. It will probably be in ‘concierge’ type services—that is, in everyone«_s device (be it smartphone, tablet, or Dick-Tracy-on-the-wrist devices), will have built-in applications to remind users of things to be done, and featuring unlimited lists of contacts, past and present, as well as the contents of global and local reference works (atlases and phonebooks), model decision-trees, and other handy information devices. Concierge-type services will give citizens greater autonomy in everyday activities, as well as in highly specialized professional activities (like on-the-wrist ‘specialist systems’ for medical diagnoses and so on). Continuing education will also be part of this scenario—featuring just-in-time learning on demand, automatic translations of content, and the like. The areas least affected mostly likely will be those most human—the arts, sports, and human relationships.”

Pamela Wright, chief innovation officer for the US National Archives, wrote, No. “I don’t know enough about the tech in this field to estimate what kind of impact it will have by 2025. Surely there will be some impact, but to what degree?”

John Wooten, CEO and founder of ConsultED, replied, No. “While the line and percentages of displacement will certainly be on the uptick, I don’t believe it will achieve a higher displacement over creation ratio by 2025. Current trends related to automation and business intelligence tools have surprisingly led to more job creation in the markets I have been involved with, e.g., in IT cloud computing has actually brought greater business necessity for hiring more IT persons, not less, as the implementation of ‘cloud’ affords IT personnel ability to perform functions more critical to the organization as a whole.”

Kevin Carson, a senior fellow at the Center for a Stateless Society and contributor to the P2P Foundation blog, wrote, Yes. ‘The concepts of ‘jobs’ and ‘employment’ will be far less meaningful by 2025, because the main direction of technological advance is toward cheap production tools (e.g., desktop information processing tools, open-source CNC garage machine tools, etc.) that undermine the material basis of the wage system. The wage and factory systems originally arose because of a technological shift from cheap, general-purpose craft tools that individual workers could afford, to extremely expensive, specialized capital-intensive machinery that only large institutions could afford to buy and then hire others to work. The revolution in cheap production tools today is a reversal of this shift. So the real change will not be the stereotypical model of ‘technological unemployment,’ with robots displacing workers in the factories, but increased employment in small shops, increased project-based work on the construction industry model, and increased provisioning in the informal and household economies and production for gift, sharing and barter.”

Lillie Coney, a legislative director specializing in technology policy for a member of the US House of Representatives, replied, No. “AI will be achievable because of advances in computing. However, it is still AI not human intelligence. There will be jobs to teach machines to perform their functions. People will work to perfect the technology to perform certain jobs, while determining the level of intelligence needed by each device. Creating something to perform mining that has the IQ of Einstein would be wasteful. Monitoring of technology to be sure that it is performing as intended will create opportunities. There will also be a move to determine the value of allowing old knowledge to be lost. Continuity of society projects should follow because of the limitations of AI—requiring electricity of some form of exhaustible power. Solar may help but battery efficient is critical. The pressure to better educate citizens will be tremendous. Intellectually capacity will become a nation’s greatest resource. Fewer students will leave their countries to come to the US to learn and live. There will be less mobility as work can be performed from homes. The arts and craftsmanship will become more important as disposable time is increased. The larger shift is in how people earn a living and how productive member of society is defined. In any case we cannot continue to incarcerate or have under court supervision a quarter of our population. People will yield to comfort and convenience—already it is evident that people would rather do a number of things while in a automobile that have nothing to do with driving. A car with AI and sensors guided by GPS, and a telematic system would be attractive especially if it proved to be reliable, safer and reduces cost of business and insurers. It is not the large things that will make AI acceptable it will be the small things—portable devices that can aid a person or organization in accomplishing desired outcomes well. AI embedded into everyday technology that proves to save time, energy and stress that will push consumer demand for it.”

Gina Neff, an associate professor of communication at the University of Washington, wrote, No. “The displacement of jobs in 2025 will be felt in terms of shifting global geographies of work, but not as direct trade-offs between tools and workers. As long as we as a society frame increased ‘technology’ as a cause of growth in economies, then the benefits of technology substitution will be viewed by the public as worth the costs of individual jobs. Much of the integration of advanced technology into ordinary everyday lives by 2025 will appear invisible or ‘black boxed’ for most people—for example, warehouse robotic technology, sensing technology enhancing retail experiences, analytics continuing to improve customization.”

Peter S. Vogel, Internet law expert at Gardere Wynne Sewell, LLP, replied, No. “I have been following artificial intelligence (AI) technology since 1971, and in spite of today’s great innovations I am not optimistic that AI will displace all that many applications or robotic devices by 2025.”

Yalda T. Uhls wrote, Yes. “Unless we find other forms of employment for those citizens who may not find that college is the best fit for their future, they will be left behind.”

Marcus Cake, network society content architect and strategist with WisdomNetworks.im, wrote, Yes. “Economic evolution has always meant that we use much less resources (including labour) in sectors over time.  For instance, 25% of the workforce was involved in agriculture and that number is now less than 2%. Information Age workers will follow the same path. They are isolated with hierarchies and engage in laborious processes to push/pull information to create knowledge upon which action can be taken. Facebook enables people to link things in a book and share them globally. Wisdom Networks (or transparent peer-to-peer networks) will do the same for other communities (health, education, government, equity market, governance, etc.). They redefine human interaction, increase productive time from 28% to 50-75%. It may be that society can generate the same output (or standard of living) by applying modern age structures. We then need to consider how we engage the available people to improve society. It would be a waste for these people to not make a contribution to society, their neighbors and families. Network Society is emerging by default. People rendered redundant by technology (particularly information workers), need to empowered and utilised in the next stage. We are not redeploying these unemployed for employment in the next stage of economic development. Society and the unemployed are stagnating. Without proactive change, a generation will not make a contribution to the economy (i.e. output) or society (i.e. prosperity). Education wisdom could retrain the displaced for jobs in the next stage of economic development, but would require proactive leadership to crowd create the next stage of economic development. AI and robots will not be part of the ordinary landscape by 2025. This type of innovation takes almost a generation to filter through before it becomes part of the fabric of society. Life will remain relatively unchanged in the household. However, the way we work, govern and organise society will be transformed. By 2025, society will have restructured into peer to peer structures for person to person communication and collaboration, work and society governance.”

Per Ola Kristensson, a lecturer in human-computer interaction at the University of St. Andrews, UK, responded, Yes. “While automation will be less than perfect by 2025, we are likely to witness a trend in which routine white-collar jobs, such as routine legal work, accounting and administration, will be replaced by AI tools. This will result in job losses, although some of the workforce that has been automated can now work as crowd-sourced labor on microtask markets, such as Amazon Mechanical Turk, helping out when AI tools cannot solve a task, or helping creating and annotating data for AI tools. However, crowd-sourced work will pay less than the original white-collar jobs and will not require a college degree. While I do think there will be self-driving buses and taxis by 2025, I think issues with legislation and sunk cost in existing vehicle fleets will delay this development to be fully prevalent until perhaps 2035. In industry, automation will make it cost-effective to move manufacturing plants closer to research and development centers. Due to efficiencies in automation, such research and development centers can be much smaller and less expensive than today, enabling people to create a local industry much easier than before. This will lower the barrier for industry production and demand more creative, personal and sophisticated products from consumers, demanding high-skilled labor. On the other hand, job losses will be massive in countries relying on cheap unskilled industry labor. Automation will also have started to make inroads in health care, in particular in the care of the elderly. It will probably not have resulted in job losses; instead the focus will likely be to optimize the experience for patients. Health care, transport.”

Monica Guzman wrote, No. “Today we have auto mechanics. But will the traditionally trained auto mechanic be equipped to troubleshoot the software mechanisms of a self-driving car? Today we have highways. But when highways run on algorithms, won’t we need more brain power, not less, to design and upgrade them as the technology evolves and disrupts decades old infrastructure? Intelligent systems will open more doors than they will close, not just for how we live our lives but how we employ people to design them for particular communities and circumstances. We’ll be farther along in 2025, but it’s too easy to be seduced by the finality of computation. There will still be more questions than answers. We seem to be well on the path toward intelligent devices beyond our communications tools. Our cars, our home appliances, even our bathroom mirrors could become intelligent in the next 10 years as our communications devices evolve toward something more wearable, invisible and intuitive. I expect we will both carry robots around with us constantly and interact more frequently with digitally enhanced objects in our environment: the subway, the refrigerator, the carton of milk.”

Andrew Rens wrote, “A fundamental insight of economics is an entrepreneur will only supply goods or services if there is a demand, and those who demand the good can pay. Therefore any country that wants a competitive economy will ensure that most of its citizens are employed so that in turn they can pay for goods and services. If a country doesn’t ensure employment driven demand it will become increasingly less competitive. There have been claims in the past that AI and robots will increase efficiency and wealth so that many more people will be able to afford luxuries; goods and service that require more human labour such as tailoring of clothing, handmade furniture and organic vegetables. Its seems unlikely that increases in efficiency will offset the impact of the multiple global environmental disasters threatening the planet. Societies will need both human labour and smart machines to survive the Anthropecene. AI and robotics will change the way that Western society thinks about cars. Once control over driving passes to software the romance of cars will diminish. here will be far less cachet in owning large and powerful cars since the riding (rather than driving) experience will be indistinguishable. The rise of AI and robots will also likely change extreme sports and outdoor pursuits not by increased reliance on AI and robotics but by provoking a movement to purge extreme sports of them. Extreme sports and outdoor pursuits such as hunting are one area of life which encourage immersion in the natural world, self-reliance and human excellence. As other areas of life become increasingly dominated by machines that are faster, more accurate and reliable than humans outdoor pursuits and extreme sports will become increasingly valuable to a substantial minority as they seek to carve out space from a frenetically connected world. The perception of extreme sports and outdoor pursuits as a machine free zone will provoke debate about the ethics of relying on machines. A significant minority of sportspeople will attempt complete human self-reliance, even refusing current technologies such as GPS except in emergencies.”

Nilofer Merchant, a business innovator and consultant, wrote, “Today, the guy who drives the service car I take to go to the airport does this job because his previous blue-collar job disappeared from automation. Driverless cars will displace him. Where does he go? What does he do for society? The gaps between the haves and have-nots will grow larger. I’m reminded of the line from Henry Ford, who understood he does no good to his business if his own people can’t afford to buy the car he builds. The modern-day equivalent is that Walmart people can’t earn enough money to shop at Walmart. They rely on food stamps. Amazon’s grocery delivery will only put more pressures on these jobs. My son, who is 10, doesn’t think he needs to learn to drive or do grocery shopping cause he says he’ll just click something to arrive. All the fundamentals of life can and will be automated—from driving to grocery shopping. Chores will effectively disappear in terms of time consumption.”

David Solomonoff, president of the New York Chapter of the Internet Society, wrote, Yes. “It is hard to give a specific number or statistic here. New jobs will also be created. One hundred years ago pundits predicted something like the Internet, the Web and widespread adoption of mobile communications—but they never would have guessed that there would be a new type of job called ‘web developer.’ That being said, societies will have to adapt their economic policies to accommodate growing wealth created by technology and the reduction in older types of job opportunities. Those that do will prosper, those that don’t will see large scale unrest fueled by the cheap, ubiquitous weaponization of these same technologies. David People will develop more subtle perception regarding AI that seems ‘almost human.’ A lot of AI will become embedded into what appear to be older types of tools—for example a ‘smart hammer.’ People will still want the tactile and we’ll discover that some very old tools and technologies still have features that are difficult to integrate into the digital realm.”

Alexander B. Howard wrote, Yes. “I expect that automation and AI will have had a substantial impact on white-collar jobs, particularly back office functions in clinics in law firms, like medical secretaries, transcriptionists or paralegals. Governments will have to collaborate effectively with technology companies and academic institutions to provide massive retraining efforts over the next decade to prevent massive social disruption from these changes.”

Janet Kornblum, a self-employed media trainer and journalist, said, Yes. “But the pattern really has been that when new technologies do what humans used to do, they are displaced. Perhaps by 2025 new industries will have been born, but I do fear that the digital divide will be even more prominent. Robotics already are a part of our landscape. By 2025 medically, many of us will use intelligent devices that help us function, be they smartly replacements for little reminders that tell us when to take our pills, etc. Will robots be caring for us? Maybe. Medical robots will lead the way.”

John Perry wrote, Yes. “Reducing errors and costs are two primary purposes of automation. Automation always replaces jobs. Americans remain a mindset that our education gets us our career. It is our ongoing training that keeps us employed. The real social consequences are for children in school today. Are we preparing them for a future where they are responsible for their own employment? Consider the strides taken by the banking industry over the past two decades in removing tellers by automation through the use of online banking and ATMs. Today in Home Depots a camera at the checkout digitally videos your self-checkout. In the next decade there will be no credit cards to swipe. Everything will be held in our phone. Looking for something in the store? Connect to the store’s database to find wood screws are on aisle 7. Want a cheeseburger with just lettuce and mayo? A fast food line will have the machinery and technology to do it without human intervention. In Texas, toll booths read your license plates and bill you for your charges. Issued license plates are now those that can easily be read by cameras. Reduced privacy will be the most changed. It will be almost impossible to get off the grid. When we consider that more people are meeting online for dating and marriage, what is left to remain unchanged?”

Glenn Grossman, a solutions consultant for a software provider to banks replied, No. “Many of the advances such as robots driving cars have a dependency on infrastructure. It took 100 years to get to the current state, so 10 years and the cost to make it universal is not likely. As with many new technologies it spans new jobs, so it will create new jobs. We will see more robotics in places where repetitive tasks are done. Order-taking, etc. It could be a blend of robotics and humans. Look at video ATMs now. They have robotics to dispense cash, yet you can speak to a live person, just not at that location. Chances are you will have a better-trained person in the long run.”

Marc Brenman, a faculty member at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, wrote, Yes. “As they have already, automated devices will continue to displace humans in jobs. The social consequences will continue to be bad, with high unemployment. We won’t have enough useful jobs for people to do. High unemployment and underemployment will continue to cause social unrest, as it has in the so-called ‘Arab Spring.’ The will be much more part of ordinary life. Sex, eating, and drinking will be relatively unchanged. Much else will change.”

Arthur Asa Berger, a professor emeritus of communication at San Francisco State University, wrote, Yes. “These displacements will continue a pattern that we have already observed, as computers and robots, etc. have let to many workers being let go and being replaced by computers and robots. I suspect AI and Robotics will play an increasingly important role in our everyday lives as AI and robotics becomes cheaper and more sophisticated. I don’t know whether any parts of our lives will be unchanged.”

Carol Wolinsky, a self-employed marketing research consultant, responded, Yes. “The impact will be greatest in manufacturing and may begin to affect the economies of developing countries by 2025. If so, many low skilled workers in those countries could find their jobs in jeopardy, resulting in the same dislocation US workers suffered as jobs were outsourced overseas. The impact on knowledge workers is not as clear. The impact will be greatest in manufacturing where huge economies can be achieved. It is doubtful that self-driving cars will have replaced the driver-driven cars of today as it takes many years to build these new roads and replace today’s fleet of cars. Car sharing (the Zip car model) or some automated form of sharing where the car shows up at your doorstep will be more widespread by this time.”

Jeanne Brittingham, an opinion research consultant working with environmental management systems, replied, Yes. The question is not solely about the technological disruption of a status quo, but rather what other global influences, e.g. biological, environmental, will join the nexus forces that create social behavior and life sustenance. Nothing in life remains unchanged. Technology, based on science as it is, will create changes of kind and as well as changes of degree.”

Janie Pickett, a teacher and information science professional, wrote, Yes. “Technology and an increasing ability of ‘AI’ will open opportunities for social advancement—but at the loss of increasingly routine, procedural work currently done by humans. The challenge for humans will be to unlearn and then relearn what is needed in those environments.”

Karen Yesinkus, a marketing communications specialist, wrote, Yes. “Initially and early on there will not be more jobs created but as this ball gets rolling shortly after the next 10+-year transitional period…then a true changeover to new, more and better jobs comes into view The senior care, transportation and certain medical care arenas could have biggest change. Industries based on social and creative connections—for example, social work, mental health therapies, arts and entertainment cannot be easily filled robotically though ai can enhance these ares

David Bernstein, president at The Bernstein Agency, a marketing and research consultancy, responded, Yes. “Initially, many jobs will be replaced by new AI technology. However, as younger individuals who as already comfortable in that environment enter the workforce, the new technologies will allow individuals to do more innovate things leaving people with more time to spend on other pursuits rather than wasting time driving to and from work, for example. By 2025, AI and robotics will play roles in society where those technologies will not be completely apparent. Just as the newest technologies have made their way into aerospace, medicine, and consumer electronics, I believe the same areas will be on the front-line in 2025. The areas that will likely remain relatively intact will be those areas where human contact currently plays an integral role (e.g., personal medical care, anything involving human relationships).”

Ian Rumbles, a technology developer and administrator, commented, No. “Definitely, in the next 10 years robotics will have a HUGE impact on society. Jobs will change in this new world, but there will still be plenty available. The challenge will be for those without the opportunity to get higher education where the ‘human’ jobs will be more plentiful. Hopefully, self-driving cars will be on the roads by then, but probably just barely. The area of robotics will be at a tipping point in 10 years. Acceptance and legal issues around robotic devices, which will move slowly, in 2025 will almost be solved. Public and government trust moves slowly. Parts of life that change the most: monotonous jobs will be eliminated (driving, cleaning, assembly) Parts of life that will remain the same: creative tasks (cooking, construction, programming).”

Bob Kominski, a demographer and sociologist employed by the US federal government, wrote, No. “While AI will eliminate some jobs, human populations are creative, and will fill the void with all sorts of other things that robots can’t do or aren’t doing. This is not an easy topic. In advanced Western society AI can assist with a lot of ‘marginal’ or leisure activities—the ‘intelligent house’ for example. But in other parts of the world, AI makes a massive factory more manageable, thus eliminating hundreds or thousands of jobs in one fell swoop. So the impact is very different. It’s one thing if jobs give people more opportunity—it’s another thing if they simply ‘take away’ jobs and don’t replace them. The changes will range from soup to nuts. Much of it will be in ‘making life easier/better’—a software interface on your phablet that can get you the answer to any question within seconds. The parts that remain unchanged are the parts you can’t automate, but even those parts ‘change’ because of all that evolves around it.”

David Wierz, a strategic analytics professional for OCI, wrote, No. “The net effect by 2025 will remain positive regarding jobs and productivity. That said—the basis is in place for more potentially negative overall implications going forward to 2035 and 2040. Consider change to be most likely in two areas—at-home care and menial or hazardous tasks. The former offer the potential for a combination of care tasks combined with individual monitoring and remote interaction. That interaction encompasses friends and family plus more formal caregivers. The effect is creating a personalized infrastructure or environment providing for a more engaging personal care-system in the home. Second are stands to build on enhancements in technology driving greater efficiency, productivity and safety.”

Andrew Rich, a respondent who chose not to share additional identifying details, wrote, No. “This will not be any different than other technologies that have displaced jobs in the past. The real question is who will be qualified to take the jobs that are created and what becomes of the people who lose their jobs to a robot.”

Sunil Gunderia, a mobile strategist at an education start-up, responded, Yes. “The demand for highly skilled jobs will continue to increase as traditional middle class white-collar middle management and blue-collar work suffer as automation replaces jobs.”

Manuel Landa, CEO of Urban360, a Mexican start-up, commented, Yes. “For the first time in history, technology will not create jobs by generating new industries or types of jobs. Technology is displacing people by means of hyper-productivity and a new social contract will need to be defined where companies and/or the State will have to provide to people what their lost jobs used to give them. Ironically it will be a new form of socialism, this type generated by a hyper-capitalism.:

Carla Bates, an educational administrator wrote, Yes. “AI tools in education will begin to have a major impact by 2020. Neuroscientists are learning more and more everyday about how humans learn and our ability to program effective AI learning systems will be difficult for policy makers and parents to forego in our need to teach children more effectively than we are currently doing in the United States—I am referring more to the achievement gap than to PISA scores but the point it the same—only for different reasons. I do not expect to see human-like robots ever. I just do not think that they will be worth the material investment. I do see significant augmentation of human beings and the built environment but I expect much of it will be adapted to a contemporary aesthetic rather than anything out of the golden age of SF. If this domestic drone thing gains any traction, we will begin to see the emergence of aerial planes within and between our cities. I expect this will happen but there will be push back.”

Mary Rodgers, an executive with a kitchen equipment manufacturer and distributor, wrote, Yes. As more robots move out of manufacturing and into the main stream it is only logical that they will make companies more efficient and needs less workers to perform those duties.

Munir Mandviwalla, an associate professor and chair of the school of business at Temple University, commented, No. “Outsourcing was really the beginning of this trend. The easy stuff has already been outsourced, computerized, or process analyzed out of the system! Robots will in the next few decades have a greater impact in conducting tasks that humans cannot or will not do. They will not displace us that quickly.”

Bud Levin, a futurist and professor of psychology at Blue Ridge Community College in Virginia, wrote, Yes. “Those technologies will create many high-value jobs and eliminated many mid-value jobs. for example, in an era of self-driving vehicles, what is the role of the long-distance truck driver? How many flights could be eliminated entirely? There will still be a modicum of low-value jobs. household and commercial cleaning jobs will still be with us. welcome to the second or third world. They will pervade the landscape of the upper classes. they will be present to some extent in the lower classes. However, the uses will differ markedly. the dominant uses for the upper classes will be focused on economic productivity of one sort or another. to some extent for the upper classes and dominantly for the lower classes, the apps will be available for complex but routine tasks, e.g., the successors to routing software. robotics will increasingly be used on behalf of the ill and handicapped. their major impact on the poor will be the elimination of jobs. AI may also be used to teach parenting—or to do parenting.”

Dale Richart, a marketing and advertising client liaison, wrote, No. “At some point in the foreseeable future I do expect white and blue-collar jobs to be impacted by AI at some point. I just think we will still be in the ‘more jobs are created’ phase by 2025. Maybe 2050 would be a closer point of diminishing return. Marketing/advertising, health, safety, comfort, shopping, and communication will become a major part of our lives by 2025. A resistance to invasive AI and robotics will grow in activities like hiking, biking, kayaking and other self reliant pursuits. Cooking, meals, etc., may be part of that movement. I’m not sure where transportation will be by 2025.”

Tom Roe, the senior account manager for large staffing organization and the owner of a mobile technology start-up, responded, No. “Automation has a long history of displacing some jobs while creating others. The current and future disruptions related to automation are simply a continuation of a very long trend. Of course difficult to predict. It is hoped that at some point an increase in leisure time will occur. How we work and where we work from will continue to change most rapidly.”

Dave Rusin, a digital serial entrepreneur and former digital global corporate executive wrote, No. “Our United States job challenge is not the advancing use of robotics, nanotechnologies, microbiology and material sciences, etc.. These advances will create new jobs. Our educational system from K-12 through higher education requires a makeover. I could go on forever on this topic. In K-12 we need to start getting back to basics, with an emphasis in K-5 on reading, writing which builds the cognitive skills for math and science. In K-5 start teaching ethics, getting ethical conduct familiarized at a young age assists and making bad choices later in life. In K-12, we need to get back to a three-track system whereby students advance by time and not a grade-level standard which promotes social promotion to the detriment of the child. Our three-prong approach becomes pathways that evolve by student: college-bound, vocational-bound and special-needs. Special-need students get education which assists them to functionally handle living in society with basic life skills. The current ‘Common Core Standards’ is an abomination of reality of individual learning. A goal that 100% of all students are ‘college ready’ demonstrates the disconnect by the Federal Department of Education and its payola schemes to the states in influencing education outcome plus the unfunded mandates by both Federal and State governments. The Department of Education at the Federal level is not needed; it is useless overhead. Education decisions and standards can and should be made at the State levels with unfunded mandates no longer permitted. States can react to their markets and global markets what is needed faster that any Federal Agency of theorists. Those states which build great, smartly designed learning systems and lowering bureaucratic overhead will attract and keep the best and brightest college bound or vocationally skilled. Robots and AI are not the threat. Our educational system is the root cause of anyone who perceives these advances as threats. I could go on … but we need a back-to-basic movement where technology is an enabler and assistant to a teacher in a classroom and not the substitute, and not this obsessive use of illogical measurement of learning outcomes which as of late has become no more than a sport of teacher bashing. Granted we do have some bad teachers, but we also have bad administrators and bad Federal/State bureaucrats and a system that locks out private sector people with great experiences into a classroom or administration work because you do not have a ‘monopoly golden ticket entry’ teaching certificate! In K-12, we have an urban center problem because of the lack of children being in a two-parent, responsible household. There are mechanisms to incent and solve this—but there is no political will to do so, and ideologies are more important to a politician than a child’s life in America. Robots, digital agents and AI are not threats; they are accelerators if properly applied to our economy. Higher-Education. I have many ideas there, the same deal as K-12. Technology is not a threat; our system of education and catering to the lowest common denominator or one-size fits all, is the problem. If properly applied, AI, digital agents and robotics can impact education costs and healthcare management costs if applied honestly. This is bad news for health insurers and politicians/special interests. America can use these technologies to slow down and get back to fundamentals of actually communicating well verbally and cohesively in writing. Work and life balance is necessitated in our culture—privacy, wellness (physical and mental), and family centeredness time is needed, not more distance via texting and whatever evolves. We are averaging 8 billion minutes a day on Facebook and we spend about 20 billion minutes a day texting. We are going in the wrong interconnected direction of ‘presence’ where critical thought, human interaction, collaboration, relationship maturity, human evolution requires physical, closer proximity to survive as any nation-state. We need business, education, etc., tools to enable creativity, not destroy it or hide yourself behind it, using a pseudo name, a ‘character, etc.—those things that have enabled the Internet to become predatorial.”

Patricia Swann, an associate professor of public relations and journalism at Utica College in New York, replied, Yes. ”I fully expect jobs to disappear (as new ones emerge) just as it has occurred in the communication revolution. In the early 1980s, the newsroom had typesetters, paste-up artists/page designers, graphic designers, data miners/analysts, and photographers. Those jobs, in many instances, have been rolled into one position for journalists and public relations professionals along with the need for self-promotion skills using blog platforms and social media. The advance of technology can’t help but eliminate routine tasks and much more complex tasks. People will need to continually learn new knowledge to stay ahead of the rapid technology advances. Training will be ongoing. Creativity and problem-solving skills will be valued above basic skills.”

Patrick Larvie, a researcher for a large US-based technology company specializing in the human impacts of technology, wrote, No. “While I expect an increasing presence of robot and other forms of automated machinery to carry out mundane, often inefficient functions currently left to humans (e.g., driving), there is no reason to believe that this would not also be accompanied be a reopening of the largely small-scale, local and service-driven industries that have faded in much of the world. This could mean better local services for food, crafts and trades that today command an enormous premium in first world cities. Driving will be much safer and transportation will be more efficient. Hopefully, people will feel less connection to automobiles, recognizing that time spent operating them is largely wasted and that capital sunk into machines that sit dormant 90% of the day represents a terrible waste of money.”

Yvette Wohn, a respondent who chose not to share additional identifying details, wrote, No. “Although AI and robotic devices will displace jobs at large companies, we will see a slow transition and emergence of green collar jobs: small and medium sized local businesses that rely on human labor and environmentally-friendly practices. AI will help the growth of green collar jobs.”

Brian Asner, the senior strategic planner at a mid-sized marketing agency replied, No. “Automation has been increasing for more than half a century, and while it has disrupted many jobs and industries, new jobs and industries continue to arise. Both trends can coexist. I expect it to become relatively ordinary to have robotic enhancements to everyday tasks, although it seems unlikely that complete robotic dependence would be widespread by 2025.”

Sarah Andrews, a respondent who chose not to share any additional identifying details, said, Yes. “Personnel is always the highest cost to employers. Anything that can reduce cost will be explored and used by for profit companies. Changes will come slower to areas like health care and education, but they will come as well. Early adopters will have AI and robotics in their homes to help with everyday life and to provide recreation. People will regularly be expected to interact with robotics as part of their job in manufacturing. Robotics will be increasingly used in repetitive, entry level jobs such as cooking in a fast food restaurant. AI may also be used in education and childcare to provide enrichment experiences. I expect AI to be more heavily used at underfunded schools to see if technology can replace school aids, etc.”

Heywood Sloane, a principal and consultant with expertise in financial and business technologies, replied, Yes. “That is how technology benefits society. It increases productivity and by definition decreases human labor inputs (‘jobs’). That does not mean people need be idle, but the nature or ‘work’ changes. (Coal mining and clerical labor are clearly ‘jobs,’ art, invention, and creation of new processes and entities—much less so.) Centralized, organized labor will continue to decrease in value, while the decentralized efforts and innovation that technology and communication enable will increase.”

Florencia Nochetto wrote, No. “Robot advances will have no NET effect on jobs. Specifically artificial intelligence will most likely eliminate simple unskilled labor but will create an entire new market for the development of AI. The net effect will be a shift away from unskilled to highly skilled labor, but AI will not necessarily create new jobs in the marketplace. Simple repeatable tasks that do not need tailoring, customization, or an understanding of the changing environment will most likely be automated by AI. Examples include cleaning, cooking, yard work, painting. Skills however that need higher intelligence, adapt to changing environments, and require logic and reasoning will not be automated. Examples include driving a car or airplane, educating our youth in schools, military planning and espionage.”

Anita Salem, a design research consultant, wrote, Yes. “AI tools will continue to erode blue-collar jobs in the US and we’ll start seeing an impact on white-collar as well. More sophisticated analysis tools will replace many researchers and digital agents will replace service people. We’ll see a need for more highly skilled technical people but the majority of job growth will be in low paying service positions. The inability to find rewarding work that can provide a living wage will result in social pressures ultimately leading to some kind of political and social upheaval. It will be interwoven and most people will not be aware of the extent of human hybridization that has occurred. We’ll see it in healthcare, where monitoring devices will report medical status to other devices which will adjust implanted drug delivery systems, bypassing human interventions except in severe medical cases. We’ll see it in transportation, where devices will run themselves. We’ll see it in agriculture, where artificial ingredients are ‘grown’ to replicate organic ingredients. We’ll see it in entertainment, where virtual reality will have built in feedback loops to maximize desired brain activity. We’ll see it in sports, where bionic athletes will compete. What will remain the same (or increase even) will be the power and control exerted by profit-seeking corporations.”

Ian Lamont, founder of i30 Media, a publisher of technology, business, and health guides, wrote, No. “Robotics/AI will lead to new classes of knowledge, service, and manufacturing jobs. This will more than offset the loss of ‘traditional’ jobs. I see parallels with the impact of the Internet on traditional office and media jobs. Yes, millions of jobs were made obsolete or lost because of the technological transformation, but many millions more were created, and new industries spawned. Shopping and transportation will be upended. Restaurant, healthcare …. not so much.”

Joe Hernandez, a self-employed and semi-retired equipping specialist, wrote, Yes. “With the AI/robotics advancing they can assume some mechanical labor activities thus eliminating human engagement jobs in certain tasks. The question is will humans in lower-skill/educated jobs move to higher-function jobs and will there be enough jobs available in addition to the servicing of robots?”

Jim Leonick, a director of new product development for mobile and digital for an interactive services company said, No. “There will always be jobs to create, program, maintain, or upgrade these technologies, which is a job creator not a job taker. The key is to keep good education in this country so we can keep those jobs in the middle class. AI will be the life saver of the time in 2025. People will have fewer car accidents, medical professionals will see less malpractice, people will be more reliant on technology to do the heavy lifting when it comes to areas where you see a lot of human-prone errors. The issue will be getting people to trust the technology.”

Susan Caney-Peterson, a self-employed writer and editor, wrote, No. “This might be a wash, as service-related jobs will decrease but other employment for programmers and AI manufacturing will increase. Certainly the less-educated population will continue to suffer, with increased poverty and overall income inequality gaps. The scene in 2025 is still not something from The Jetsons, with personal jetpacks that fold into briefcases. I suspect we’ll be a little closer to the film Bicentennial Man (1999), where the AI robot Robin Williams plays has a key moment in 2025 where he wants his face to be upgraded to better express the feelings he experiences. I think the date will be way off in that sense but we’ll be a lot closer to the 2005 robot version the film starts with. After all, we already have sex robots and self-driving cars, Watson, and Roombas and Google Glass; think of all these and more on steroids, affordable to the masses and not just the elites. We’ll have companions for the elderly but childcare will remain a human endeavor, as mothers will not trust even the smartest robots for their little ones.”

Christoph Trappe, vice president for communications and innovate for the United Way of East Central Iowa, wrote, No. “Electronic tools will complement work lives. If we were a true Industrial Age society still I’d say it’s more likely that electronic tools would replace humans on jobs. But as we move more and more into the Participation Age and people bring specific skills—unique to them—to the table there will be plenty of jobs out there. I believe in the abundance community!”

Barbara Clark, a retiree and Internet user, commented, No. “More jobs will be created by the advancement of robotic application. We have to be proactive citizens in this area. We must require our school systems to be retooled! We have to rethink early-childhood education, teaching young children to live and enjoy the benefits and challenges of their world of robotics, NOT to fear it. Schools need to ‘let go’ of the assembly-line mentality and allow the creative mind to emerge. Robots are now in assembly-line positions but creative minds can control and make their ‘robots’ more efficient whether it be in manufacturing, or medicine, or aviation, or transportation, or personal learning. AI and robotics applications will certainly be more visible on 2025 than they are in 2013-2014. To what degree will depend on how the general public accepts AI and robotic thinking and innovation as a brilliant challenge. If ‘HAL’ is feared because of life-threatening security concerns, or the technology is too expensive for the common person to enjoy and use efficiently, or learning is based on ‘the printed’ word and current methods then we will continue in the ‘dark ages.’”

Dennis McCann, the director of computer training at the Peoples Resource Center in Wheaton, Illinois, formerly a senior technical consultant at Cisco and IBM, wrote, Yes. “The future of work is fundamentally changing, and the economy and society have not caught up with technological changes. This is a crisis for the next generation who must conceive of a new global workplace where resources can be instantly transferred. Something new must drive labor demand rather than the care and feeding of the ‘boomer’ generation and it’s technology. Social policies must be craft ed to support large numbers of unemployed and to empower them to reach beyond current opportunities and to join the global labor marketplace, which will be virtual and agile. A potential backlash against automation must be precluded by forward thinking policy—consider the current Islamic movement against Westernization!“

Clark Sept, co-founder and principal of Business Place Strategies, Inc., replied, Yes. “The ‘Bot-force’ will replace human workforce in areas where personal safety and security is particularly at risk today among others. An example would be work in extreme environments (e.g. mining, under-sea, disaster-recovery). Coupled with the possibility of shifting work in such contexts to machines will be debate over economic rights of individuals, and social responsibility of public and private sector organizations alike to ensure individual economic rights. If an organization chooses to substitute machines for people, they will be responsible for transitioning the people to other means of garnering wages commensurate with those of the positions they’ve been forced out of. The socio-political debate of such measures will rage for years but will ultimately give way to a rebalancing of wealth as means of funding the advancement of a global society’s valuing of economic rights of individuals.”

John Saguto, an executive decision support analyst for geospatial information systems for large-scale disaster response, wrote, Yes. “Absolutely! And (any technology) that can automate a job or function a human is doing SHOULD be done. Human capability is (and will remain) far beyond the capabilities of automation. In ‘general’ the mundane tasks that humans are doing needs to be automated to allow more humans to evolve to their potential. Those who embrace automation will flourish, consequently those who resist will be resentful and blame ‘the system’ when in fact, they have not begin to realize their potential. People limit their thinking to mechanical devices when they think of robots, whereas the principles are found in software technologies we already employ. The information-gathering and organizing ‘bots’ will expand and be even more commonplace, much like many cars have replaced the few horses once used for practical transportation.”

K. Prabhakar responded, Yes. “We will be having a situation where we will be having a sand clock economy. The highest-paid jobs at the top and large number of low-paid jobs which are routinized. All these initiatives need large doses of capital and it can be funded only by plutocrats who have no social obligations. The impact of 30 of years of no-growth salary of American workers has created a situation of no manufacturing ecosystem available. It gave rise to a morally bankrupt society and we see banks are now standing testimonies of it. The impacts will be seen in 1. Medical diagnosis 2. Mining 3. Transportation What is likely to remain unchanged is the education.”

Stuart Osnow, a partner at Prime New York, providing voter-based data for political and government communities, replied, Yes. We already prefer to export jobs than to create them, especially in manufacturing. I suspect that corporations will bring jobs back to the US over the next 10 years but will not favor the employment success over automation. We don’t need tellers or supermarket checkout people in many cases. By 2015, people without technical savvy will suffer in society by unwillingness or inability to conform to using technology. Only the things we do for pleasure will be unchanged. I would say musicians will play music, skiers will ski, cyclers will ride. We will be able to get places faster, with more flying and driving with auto pilots. We will work less as mundane tasks will be automated.”

Tuija Aalto, head of strategy at Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, wrote, Yes. “AI will not create new jobs, people will. Some new jobs will involve working side-by-side along with intelligent machines. In countries with an aging population, such as Finland, care work will have to be supported by bots to some extent.”

David Burstein, CEO at Run for America and author of Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World, wrote, No. “While we’ll be seeing AI, robots play a much larger role in our daily lives by 2025, they won’t yet be the major smart homes.”

Matthew Henry, a CIO in higher education commented, Yes. “Looking specifically at just the current jobs that will be replaced by robots, digital agents, and AI, yes, many white- and blue-collar jobs will be disrupted. However, these advances will create many knowledge based and critical thinking based jobs. Most likely the widening of those with resources and able to use these advances from those without will continue to create classes in society and social unrest. Similar to the last 20 years every area of life will be changed. From psychological disorders to debates on spiritual, cognitive and parenting, thinking will continue to be divided and the ‘good’ of these advances. Overarching discussion and research will lead to understanding of what it means to be human. Legislation will be in place that will attempt to protect this humanness. World organizations will also be involved. Information, data and knowledge will continue to overwhelm us. These tools will continue to enable us to validly apply information to impact our daily lives and enable growth of what it means to be human.”

Brenda Freedman, a digital publicist, responded, Yes. “With AI already making significant changes to our lifestyle, impacting software programs to plan meetings, organize our schedules, the type of jobs, i.e., personal assistants will be replaced by intelligent agents in a much broader scale. Mobile communications has put us on the cutting edge and in some instances a preview of our future with AI. Car manufacturing facilities have been using robotic agents for a while now. The social impact and rapid growth of online work will change the landscape. Where people gathered in brick and mortar locations for work, people will be working remotely. The social impact will be for them to rely more on social networks. Brenda Freedman. What will remain unchanged; devices used in or everyday lives, the distinction being ‘smarter devices’ which is expected. As stated above, the way we work will be one of the major changes in 2025. Education should also see mobile devices being used for learning and a global initiative hopefully will ensue from our ability to connect globally. With the advent of ‘drones’ making noise on the landscape now, this technology will be one of the major advances by 2025.”

Tim Daniels wrote, No. “The overall cost will reduce the impact of these tools. Some versions of them will be a part of our everyday life and impact home automation.”

Jack Hardy, principal at Niche Public Relations, wrote, Yes. “We will finally arrive at the true information age where our value as economically-connected workers is determined by our ability to interact and influence greater thinking machines, population trends and international cultures. It will be rare that humans gather together at large entertainment venues because of security concerns. Small group interaction will be required and individual connnectness will be the norm. Personal AI assistants will be the norm for our work interaction, shopping, grooming, public interaction. Public transportation, taxis will be significantly more automated to the point where most people will not know how to navigate around various cities because they will never consult a map.”

Leda Karabela, a leadership consultant, commented, No. “Human brains will be utilized for different tasks—and people skills will always be required to supplement the artificial, rational and objectified intelligence. money transactions, logistics and supply chain issues—health diagnostics while the personal relationship front will remain a vast exploratory field.”

Buroshiva Dasgupta, a professor of communication at an international management institute, wrote, No. “We will no longer be surprised to see a robot behaving exactly like us just next to us—in public transport, escalators, etc., but there will be different kinds of jobs left for human beings. We will be relieved from the monotony of mechanical work for example data entry. The analysis will be left to us humans, not robots. Humans and robots will live together in peaceful co-existence.”

Andy Beloff wrote, Yes. “There should really be a choice for ‘unknown.’ This is hard to say. Yes, I expect more jobs to be eliminated through automation, but cannot predict for sure if more or less jobs will be displaced than have been created by 2025.”

Sheryl Hartman wrote, No. “Humans will be challenged to creatively respond to global challenges. These include: equalizing socioeconomic status, reducing the massive differences between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots,’ addressing the digital divide, so that access to the Internet is freely available worldwide; seeking planets that may be habitable as our population expands above what earth can support; managing climate change; using knowledge to build LEED-certified facilities; educating all without charge; and finding a way to maintain a supply of potable water.”

Peter R. Jacoby, a college professor, replied, Yes. “The gardener, the road paver, the roofer, and other manual labor will no longer be immune from the effects of robotics and AI in 2025. We humans are so fascinated by the prospect of machines doing our chores for us that we look upon auto factory welding robots and airliner flight management systems (FMS; what we used to call autopilots) that we will not even notice they have already been taking our places at work. Wow, more time with the 60-inch TV, great! That is, until we notice we no longer have jobs to go to. To be honest, I do not believe we will all be replaced by robots, but they will become the workers—from short-order cooks to surgeons—and we will become the supervisors. Bad luck for us. The supervisor-to-worker ratio is pretty darn low already.”

Jerry P. Miller, a researcher based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, wrote, Yes. Again, enough efforts have already created the environment, the curiosity, the challenge and the drive for such technological advances. The extent of their presence cannot be foreshadowed at this times, but robotics will definitively play a part in our daily lives by 2025

Annette Liska, the director of design at a research and design firm, responded, Yes. “Gauging job creation for 2025 is anyone’s guess, however, robotics and AI will certainly eliminate manual work done today, and at the same time create unforeseen roles for new work. In our development of new tools in the last two decades, we’ve seen accessibility to technology contribute to creative uses or solutions. Open-sourced hardware and software for robotics are increasingly a part of study and play for young children, and broad accessibility to this knowledge is critical. It must transcend class and race to keep creative uses for robotics and AI in a healthy, adaptable continuum that keeps pace with population and thus job growth. AI and robotics will be a part of the ordinary landscape if it remains open to anyone’s use and inventiveness. While companies will be able to profit from products and services in these areas, the most innovative implementations will likely happen in contexts driven by accessibility and urgent necessity. Parts of life that will most like be effected are how we build our personal objects (3D printing), grow our own food (urban-farming), and access healthcare (technology-delivered treatment). As for unchanged aspects of our lives, we will continue to need disconnection from technology, and the spaces where we are allowed to do that will be clearly cherished and coveted.”

Vittorio Veltroni, CEO for Hyppo Corporation, a digital and customer-knowledge consultancy, responded, No. “There will be more opportunities in labor markets that have to do with tasks and needs that cannot be made repetitive and/or rule-based. There will be more such services in the future. Robotics and AI will free human labour from repetitive/rule based jobs, making extra opportunities for creative/talent-based jobs. This will make it harder for the less educated or the intellectually disenfranchised. Areas more effected—transport, logistics, accounting, tax collection, finance, retail, military Areas less effected—software, politics, luxury, art.”

Kevin Ryan, a corporate communications and marketing professional, wrote, No. “Robots, digital agents, and AI tools will do work that is either new or parts of many jobs. Because these duties do not exist, no one will be displaced. More jobs to refine Ai/human interface. People will be forced to interact with Ai to keep up. It will be considered backward and a disadvantage to not interact. Just as today, people are considered at a disadvantage if they do not have Internet access. A whole new business category will be people skilled at making the Ai/ human interface personalized and unique. Your AI is set up for you, no one else. More people will be on time for appointments. Many people will destroy their Ai devices out of frustration but then get another. Language barriers will disappear Everyone will wear glasses because of heads up display. Most nights, there still will not be anything good to watch on TV.”

Tom Viall, a director of computer operations, responded, Yes. “Although I do not think the loss of jobs will be catastrophic, I do believe that advances in robotics and especially advanced AI will displaced traditionally trained workers. I am hard pressed to believe that the highly skilled jobs needed to produce such technology can supplement the losses. All that said, by 2050 I am confident that the workforce and needs can reach a better equilibrium. Mass transit will see the largest change—which will be welcomed. Our AI-enabled phones will guides us through transit more confidently—even in mid-size cities. We will become much ‘smarter’ shoppers as AI recommends what we really need, when and the best value. In turn, this will create better products. On the downside, the clerical workforce will be drastically reduced as smart customer service automated agents replace at least the front lines of support.”

Aaron Balick, a psychotherapist and author of ‘The Psychodynamics of Social Networking,’ responded, No. “I am equivocal with my answer as it’s very difficult, from my perspective at least, to gauge the level of change we can expect in this area. There will be no doubt be disruption and change, but by 2025 I do not believe that we will have achieved the level of AI necessary to really replace the subtle and complex interpersonal and human needs that are fundamentally integrated in the way we build technology into our working and leisure lives. If, indeed, certain roles are replaced, there will most certainly be a detail of human backup necessary, as there is today in our rather primitive ‘self check out’ machines in our shops. Clunky ‘Siri’ is a precursor to what I predict will be a more human interface with our technology by way of AI. The integration of wearable tech (and the desire of some for a quantified life) alongside developing smartphone and smart home technology will undoubtedly shift the way we organise our affairs. The way in which we organise our lives—from saving energy at home to maximising efficiency of our travel will be enhanced and enabled by AI, not to mention health and money. Human relationships, both romantic and family-life will still have to manage the complexities of interrelationships—though by way of organisation, AI may have a role in smoothing over some of these relationships.”

John Senall, a principal and founder of Mobile First Media, LLC, wrote, Yes. “Artificial intelligence and robotic advances, alone, will not have as much negative employment impact potentially as their combination with low-cost international outsourcing and contracting. The combo of digital automation, virtual cloud-based project management, 3D printing, and fulfillment or technical backend support from professionals in China, India, Pakistan and other countries has already begun reducing job opportunities for IT professionals and developers in America as one example. It is the progression from blue-collar outsourcing for automobiles and factory jobs to highly skilled outsourcing overseas for college-educated professionals, managers, and top programmers. The savings for companies is substantial, regularly as much as $30-$60 per hour saved. So it is not only the technical tools affecting jobs, but that the tools also make it much easier to contract with low cost alternate staffing models negatively impacting the American white-collar work force in niche areas.”

Jane Adams, executive director of one of California’s state-based public organizations, wrote, No. Jobs will change not go away. College degrees may be less important than technical degrees which will focus on the building and maintaining the robots, digital agents, etc., enter our lives.

Todd Cotts, a business professional, wrote, No. “As with any innovational leaps throughout history, there will be a reduction in jobs replaced by automation, but will also result in new jobs to design, develop, market, sale, etc., the very AI technologies that replaced other jobs. Until AIs are self-aware and take over the job of replication, there will be jobs and the impact on society will be no different than it has been since the industrial revolution.”

Warren Yoder, executive director of the Public Policy Center of Mississippi, commented, Yes. “AI transportation will end the over-the-road truck driver, displacing the American cowboy once again. Warehouse jobs will disappear. The number of new-tech jobs will be growing, but the education/employment field will not adjust fast enough to replace old jobs with new by 2025.”

Sylvia Burgos Toftness wrote, “Technology will continue to displace human workers because of the corporate drive to reduce labor costs and increase profit margins. By 2025, this will mean fewer and fewer opportunities for unskilled and semi-skilled adults to hold living wage jobs. This will be especially true as robot-makers can harden their products—make them so that they can perform reliably in increasingly hostile environments. I also think that incorporation of AI and robotics will be encouraged by the market, as large segments of society continue to build their comfort for anything that makes it easier to slide through life without deep thought or much physical exertion. As robots become smaller and more specialized, their use in existing systems will increase, i.e., automatic banking kiosks, HVAC systems, testing for illness (e.g., strep throat, TB), alert systems in home refrigerators and freezers, home security systems, online shopping and banking, security systems at point-of-sale at brick-and-mortar retailers. I think the use of AI and robots will jump exponentially if—a big if—nano-machines are accepted and sufficiently regulated by both the medical community and society.”

Carolyn M. Appleton, a certified nonprofit fundraising executive, commented, Yes. ”Robots, digital agents and AI tools will continue to replace many white and blue-collar jobs. I also see numerous efforts underway to re-focus and re-tool education at all levels to meet new and up-and-coming job demands, and to replace old ones. We as a nation must intensify our work in the arena of education—not just in terms of higher education (which is getting to be too expensive)—but also at more basic, broadly accessible levels (as in special training and community schools). Examples of independent outfits making headway here that impress me are Dev Bootcamp and Business Access. I think these types of items will continue to be developed, and that they will become generally accepted and used by the broad populace. Once launched, it will take a bit of time for their purpose to be understood and appreciated, and for their acquisition to increase to the point where the price per unit to come down to a more modest level (and then, almost anyone could purchase them). Areas I would expect growth in ‘gadgetry’ to occur especially are healthcare, security, home environments, and communications. I believe while the Boomer and older generations have been slower to adopt new technologies, that they will accelerate their use and many new tech items will be developed that meet their needs specifically.”

Sean Mead, senior director of strategy and analytics for Interbrand, wrote, Yes. “The symbol of robot-driven social disruption will be fast food restaurants eliminating nearly all human workers. As capable robots come to cost less than a car, huge swaths of traditional blue-collar roles will be threatened by cheaper automation options. Numerous dangerous roles in fields like soldiering, firefighting, law enforcement and hazardous materials clean up will be robotized. Many white-collar jobs will not escape replacement or reduction by AIs. There will be a split between the involvement of people at higher costs for customized or creative solutions and cheaper, standardized AI solutions for white-collar problems at commoditized costs. AIs will be accepted in law as authorized agents of owning entities. For particularly advanced AIs, there will be questions as to whether they achieved sentience and if so, what should be done as a result. Social arguments will be made to grant them rights, potentially even the same as humans. Analogies will be made comparing the advanced AIs to animals and slaves, but there will be little acceptance of the analogies at that point. AIs will provide nearly all with the equivalent of an executive assistant that knows their wants and preferences intimately and that can be assigned to take care of an extreme range of tasks. These assistants will be taken for granted. AIs will serve as brain power multipliers speeding learning and reinforcing memory. Robots will have the most impact in transportation driving where self-driving trucks and cars will decrease accidents and reduce traffic delays. The second-most impact will be in home healthcare. Monitoring, physical assistance and many types of basic care will be delivered robotically, helping alleviate what would otherwise be personnel shortages. Cleaning tasks will be handled by robots in many homes.”

Frank Feather, a business futurist, CEO, and trend tracker based in Ontario, Canada, wrote, No. “Technology is constantly substituted for labor. It also reduces the amount of labor required, while creating new kinds of jobs. So the standard work week gets reduced, leaving more time for leisure, a benefit of any labor-saving technology. But any new technology creates numerous jobs. The challenge is that these new jobs require vastly different skills than the old jobs that they replace. This requires an adjustment in education and training to prepare the workforce, so that the disruption is manageable. There will be no major social consequences if governments plan ahead to change educational curricula and also adjust the standard work week requirements on a gradual basis. One of the biggest changes will be rapid growth in telecommuting, with positive impact on transportation systems which now are over-loaded. Most manufacturing will be highly automated, with many people-less factories. Many information workers also will be displaced. Brick and mortar retail establishments will continue to be replaced by online channels, being replaced by distribution centers and systems. Many educational institution campuses will become irrelevant as learning is carried out online. Other things such as health and medical facilities will expand and grow to serve a growing and aging population, in situ. Many forms of transport will be automated, including driverless cars, and even trucks and trains. Household robots will be rare, but the Internet of Things will gradually change house design and household appliance functioning.”

Nick Wreden, a professor of social business at University Technology Malaysia, based in Kuala Lumpur, commented, No. “Ultimately, every technological advance produces more jobs—albeit at a higher level of skill or knowledge—than the previous status quo. Look at computer service today versus typewriter service yesterday. This even happened with the infamous Luddites.”

S. Rodriguez, chief operating officer for MC&S IB and digital consultant, replied, Yes. “We are witnessing a new industrial revolution, similar to what happened between the late 19th and early 20th century. Unlike that one, this is much faster, which results in different social impacts in the workplace. Actors have less time to adjust to the change, leaving the way open for many trades and specialist work. The price of social evolution is usually the disappearance of all that is no longer useful in this society. It is difficult to make a prediction, but it is likely that everything related to the Internet of Things will be part of our daily lives in 2025: households connected to the Internet and remotely controlled much more than today, intelligent surveillance and air conditioning homes and businesses, vehicles that drive themselves, healthcare remote-control robots, intelligent management of purchasing of household food and other supplies, in short, everything that facilitates the day-to-day live of people. 3D printers will be everyday, as will smart clothes, keychain portable devices integrated on common items such as eyewear, watches, jewelry. Robotic machines will be able to perform repetitive tasks such as cleaning and heavy work, agricultural and livestock work, fish farming, and waste management. However, those activities more closely related to human intellect, feelings, and creativity, such as artistic creation, scientific and technical research, and any others that depend upon people will remain basically unchanged.”

Linda Young, a freelance writer, responded, Yes. “We have already seen technology replace jobs. Newspapers used to employee typesetters who were paid living wages to. In the late 1960s early 1970s, they replaced them with machines that produced a punched tape that was fed into the printing presses to replace typesetters. Those jobs went to women who sat and typed all the stories into a machine and they were paid lower wages. However, the newspaper still employed proofreaders to check for errors. Now, the reporters type their own stories into a computer program, which goes to the editor (unless it’s a blog story and then the reporter just ‘publishes’ it on the paper’s website) to check for errors before they either publish it online or place it on a page electronically to go to press. Hundreds of jobs were eliminated with computer technology at newspapers. Moreover, millions of secretaries and clerk typists are largely gone in every sector of the economy. Business executives now type all their own correspondence and reports into their computers. They don’t even have office assistants anymore. Filing jobs disappeared as offices went electronic and now store stuff in the cloud. I think we will see the percentage of working age Americans with a job and a paycheck decline to the lowest levels ever at a time when the political right wants to further cut spending on social safety net programs. That is a dangerous thing.”

Gonzalo Bacigalupe, a professor at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, predicted, Yes, “This is not difficult to predict, there are jobs that will disappear, some low-end, well-paid jobs (truck drivers, mass public transportation operators, etc.) and some high-level ones (translators, some software specialists, some type fo educators, etc.). There will be a continued need for a highly educated and a flexible job force. I think the question is not about the shifting work force, that’s a given. The question with which we will need to deal is how to move towards a more equitable society where there is a basic and secure cushion for all to live (as in countries like Sweden, Denmark, Norway, etc.). How do we address the question of ensuring fewer hours of labor and an early retirement without bankrupting the system? This is crucial. None of the present technology is addressing this question.”

Daria Parnes, an information science professional, replied, No. “AI will replace the manual tasks that humans now perform repetitively. This will affect blue-collar jobs the most. This will allow humans opportunities to expand their opportunities through education and take on more abstract functions. However, what will happen to those who not equipped by the necessary level of intelligence and education to further their opportunities? What place will they fill in that new society? Will society become even more stratified, with the haves and have-nots? It would be wonderful to contemplate a future society where we take care of, accept, and work together with one another. It that utopia? Are humans capable of putting aside their subjective viewpoints in order to live in peace and prosperity? Based upon human history, I wonder if that is possible. AI will integrate into our daily lives by performing routine tasks. We have rumba cleaners now automatically vacuuming our floors! I think that AI alternatives will be available to everyone, if they have the money. Life will remain unchanged for most people. AI will be accepted as ‘normal’ and life will go on. Advances in medicine (robotic operations), engineering advances, agricultural efficiency, and even education (using computers as teachers) will have great potential to change society.”

David Berkowitz, the chief marketing officer for a large advertising agency responded, No. “Job displacement will be widespread, but there will be so many people needed to master new skillsets and create new uses cases for AI. Blue-collar workers, however, will no longer be needed, and this will cause widespread displacement and resentment. Self-driving cars will be widespread in smaller countries and communities, though such cars won’t be commonly used for cross-country road trips in the US in 2025. The biggest impact of robotics will be destroying the need for blue-collar workers, while robots start making significant inroads into service industries.”

Peter Janca, managed services development lead at MCNC, the nonprofit regional network operator serving North Carolina, responded, No. “As described in the question, these devices are tools for an individual to use to simplify and enrich one’s lifestyle. The other kinds of robots which have become the norm in many manufacturing activities will continue to displace traditional blue-collar workers at a greater rate than the rate of growth in white-collar workers needed to program and manage such robots. I believe personal aid AI/robotics will be in use, but still in a minority of the population (early adopters). Repetitive tasks (such as driving) will a natural use of AI/robotics. Intelligent software agents will be easily available to individuals (a compared to their almost exclusive use today in industry). Think of Microsoft’s ‘Bob’ in a usable form.”

Micky Hingorani, program manager at AVAC, which does global advocacy for HIV prevention, commented, Yes. “New technology will create many job, ones we can’t even imagine right now. But I worry, in the short term, about how many of these new jobs will be created. I doubt more jobs will be created than are displaced, certainly not low-skill jobs. I suspect robotic advances will impact nearly every aspect of our lives, maybe not by 2025 though.”

Breanne Thomlison, founder and president of BTx2 Communications, a marketing and strategies firm, wrote, No. “Networked, automated, AI applications and robotic devices will greatly impact global society, but not directly impact job loss. While certain positions will benefit from AI and other devices, more than half of all jobs in 2025 don’t even exists today and most that exist today, won’t in 2025. The cycle of industrialization, or even now could be called the Innovation Cycle will continue to create new jobs for people around the world. We just don’t know what those are yet. We will see the most change in healthcare and education. These two fields have seen very little innovation in the last 20 years and right now we are starting to see an interest in these categories which will transform for the better. AI and robotics, will be what we interact with daily on our health and wellness needs. We will have transformative care and monitoring and will be living longer. Education will be the center of this change too, our brains will have the capacity to gather more information and we’ll want more information. We’ll be born to be ‘online.’”

Kelly Baltzell, CEO for Beyond Indigo, wrote, No. “Robotic advances and AI will affect blue-collar jobs more than white-collar jobs by 2025. Manual labor will be less needed. In the white color segment new jobs will be created. Technology spurs technology. I have seen it happen over the last 19 years marketing on the Internet since 1995. For example, Google Analytics has spurred an entire new job track for people. Technology gives us the freedom to be more creative. By 2025 we has a country will need to make sure we are training enough people in science, math, computer science and technology to keep advancing. Right now our lack of education in these areas is causing a gap between companies hiring and people needing jobs. AI and Robotics will take over the parts of life that we will not want to do. We will have the option to drive our car or not. We will have cleaning, cooking and shopping taken over by automation. We very well might have a food replicator on the wall that we can dial up dinner if we do not want to cook that evening. The parts that will remain unchanged are the ones that drive our curiosity, we consider fun and enjoyable and that are social.”

Giuseppe Pennisi, an employee of the Economic and Social Council of the Republic of Italy, responded, Yes. “Transition is likely to be hard especially in Europe due to rigidities in labor and products/services markets The change will have a different pace in different continents: strong in North America and some emerging countries, slow in continental Europe.”

Mike Ribble wrote, No. “I hope that these digital entities will take away the need for some positions, but hope that education will compensate and elevate people to do more and be more creative. These devices will be commonplace but just for the most basic and mundane of tasks.”

Thomas Lenzo, a self-employed consultant for 30+ years in the areas of training, technology, and security, wrote, No. “The disruption will be similar to how PCs and similar technologies disrupted the white and blue-collar jobs. While some jobs were eliminated (e.g. typists, secretaries) other jobs were created (primarily related to the technologies). The same thing will happen with these advances. The social consequences of these tools will be the same as with PCs, etc. First, those with the understanding of what these tools can do will have them; the bleeding- and leading-edge folks. Then they will be integrated into the mainstream of business and life. Of course, we will hear about another digital divide related to these advances as we did with computers. I hope the first area AI and robotics will change is health care. I anticipate they will create more home health technologies and improve the wearable health monitors. Such items can make us more responsible for our own health, as well as alerting us and health care professionals as the need arises. I don’t see AI and robotics changing our social and spiritual lives.”

Tracy Clark, PhD, wrote, “Robotics will never replace the need for human connection, even in a digital-driven world.”

Richard James, an information science professional, replied, Yes. “I held off for as long as I could on having automated meter readers installed for my utilities because I understood that it was little convenience for me, and meant I was complicit in the elimination of a decently-paid working class occupation. As these technologies continue to expand, it will have the most widespread impact on working class people.”

Adam Rust, research director for a US-based organization advocating for economic justice and opportunity, wrote, Yes. “We subsidize capital investment with friendly depreciation schedules and with tax deductions for interest. There are some serious problems with our workforce: skills mismatch, breadth of education, cost of education. It is hard to know. I expect that they will still lag the pace of innovation in computer analytics and possibly in nanotech. I see machine learning in consumer durables: thermostats that learn your heating and cooling preferences and washing machines that self-diagnose, for example. I think that people will accept AI if they see personal benefits which outweigh the costs. That is the basis for the loss of privacy and this will probably be the same. People love to control their cars. Self-parking and intelligent free ways have some perceptual hurdles to overcome. There is no doubt that they will be increasingly significant in industrial production.”

James Grant, social media manager at Joseph Rowntree Foundation, UK, wrote, No. “Technology is always fingered for displacing jobs as it alters the shape of labour markets but in actuality it creates many opportunities for jobs.”

Bryan Padgett, research systems manager for a major US entertainment company, wrote, Yes. “Despite the promise of robotics and AI to help ‘workers become more effective”, there will undoubtedly be a reduction of positions available, especially among blue-collar workers. While robotics and AI will help many tasks become easier and more efficient, for routine tasks such as assembly line or warehouse work there would be no need to continue to employ 50 workers to oversee 50 new robots, where a crew of 5 or 10 workers could do the same supervision. I suspect this effect will not be as bad as it could be: with baby boomers retiring some of those positions can be eliminated due to attrition. Socially I don’t think the effect will be that great by 2025 since much of the manufacturing is moving towards skilled positions today. In other areas of the world, Asia may be harder hit if wages continue to increase and robotics are seen as a possibility. I could see other areas of the world, such as Africa, taking Asia’s place for manufacturing due to labor cost. Bryan—I think transportation and communication will see the most change, where parts of everyday life we take for granted will no longer exist or be changing rapidly. Driverless vehicles will lead to a dramatic shift to our days, leading to an extra hour or two of TV/Internet usage during the commute each day. High speed access to both TV and Internet (if they haven’t merged by then) will make the rush hours the new primetime, possibly leading to a dramatic reduction in radio listening. Driverless vehicles will also cause a dramatic increase in the safety of our roadways, causing insurance rates to plummet. There will not be a majority of driverless vehicles on the roads, so accidents between manual and auto-driving vehicles may cause new laws to go into effect, perhaps crating ‘manual driving’ lanes to separate the two. Vehicles in ‘autodrive’ mode may be required to turn on indicator lights while in motion, perhaps like purple parking lights. Commercial and service vehicles will be some of the first to adopt, however not replacing the drivers but instead changing their tasks or the time needed for each. Delivery trucks automatically going to their next destination will give the employee onboard time to prepare the correct boxes for the next step before arriving. Police cars and ambulances can force other auto-driving vehicles to slow down and pull over before getting near, while the professionals onboard review other information from nearby sensors, neighborhood cameras, unmanned aerial vehicles, etc., before getting on the scene.”

Brenda Michelson, a self-employed business-technology consultant. wrote, No. “Certainly jobs will continue to be displaced as AI and robotics innovations enter the market and workplace. One only needs to look at manufacturing and warehouse operations to see the current impact of robotics on the blue-collar workforce. Looking ahead to 2025, I don’t envision a robotic army of factory workers, nor a swarm of AI powered knowledge workers. Rather, robotics and AI can, and will, be employed to meet new and unfilled needs: Such as serving the disproportional growth of the aging population. Advances such as eldercare robots, bio and environmental sensors, medical assistant agents will allow for dignified aging in place. As well, robotics and AI will be used by human medical professionals and humanitarian workers to extend their reach to provide fundamental, life-saving and sustaining human-based services to remote areas, active disaster or recovery areas, and war zones. Robotics and AI can be employed in manners that cause displacement, however the true potential of these technologies is to fill current and future gaps, which will create new possibilities. eldercare and healthcare situations.”

Karen Riggs, a professor of media arts at Ohio University, wrote, Yes. “Although new career fields will proliferate, technological advances and implementations will be driven by capital, reflecting the United States economic model. These advances increasingly will come from outside the nation as economic interests continue to globalize and knowledge economies strengthen in other countries. Technological advances have already entangled social and technical spheres. Personal technologies such as smart phones have become personal prosthetics and will continue to transform personal relationships to the world. Individual communication and relationships will strengthen in some ways, decline in others. As an example, we see both these tendencies in social media usage. By 2025, most of the world’s population will be quite young, and the Millennials, lurching toward middle age, will have grown up as ‘digital natives.’ There will be little separation of technology from everyday life. Home life, work life, citizenship, creativity—all these spheres will involve the individual’s existence being filtered through technical applications and instruments. One of the consequences, which we already see occurring, is the erosion of appreciation for such values as authenticity, evidence-based knowledge sharing, and objectivity. Search-driven and crowd-sourced practices of collective intelligence, as seen now in such applications as Reddit and Wikipedia, are transforming understandings of fact and truth, which are becoming more relative by definition. This slide will continue. On the other hand, means of democratic participation through technology, as in the aforementioned applications, will increase certain kinds of social power. Web-based creative works will grow in popularity and power, although it is hard to tell how corporate powers will put that realm to work. Further developments (Web 3.0 and beyond) will bring increased populist and individual power in some realms, less in others.”

Ebenezer Baldwin Bowles, founder and managing editor of CornDancer.com, wrote, Yes. “The loss of one kind of job leads to the gain of another. Displaced does not mean lost, but merely continuation of the inexorable move forward by the human race. In the grand scheme of the Net and the Universe of the Online, artificial intelligence and robotic devices are the natural continuation of innovative approaches to the demands of progress.”

Andrew Pritchard, a lawyer, PhD candidate, and instructor in media-and-society issues at North Dakota State University, responded, Yes. “I see no reason the trends of the past few decades of automation will not continue. The general pattern is that it takes fewer, more highly educated employees to program and maintain the automated equipment than it did to have humans perform the tasks the equipment will perform once it is operational. Moreover, a population saturated in entertainment will be increasingly unwilling to take monotonous, repetitive, factory-type jobs.”

Roy Rodriq, a system administrator in Phoenix, Arizona, replied, Yes. “Disruption will cause losers and winners as seen in previous turn of the century events. Those who can adapt will shift and those unable or not educated are damned.”

Brittany Smith, a respondent who did not share a professional background, wrote, No. “With the emergence of new technology comes the emergence of new jobs. For a time people will be out of work and will have to develop new skills to make them employable in a different type of economy.”

Beth Bush, the senior vice president for a major healthcare professional association, wrote, No. “The advent and introduction of (finally) AI will create new jobs that are inconceivable today. Innovation will continue to advance at an accelerating pace—creating the expectations that changes will occur tomorrow. unmanned public transportation will start to govern the public highways as the fastest and safest mode of travel. Intuitive intelligence will have emerged as the next iteration of information and utilitarian technology.”

Galen Panger wrote, Yes. “Automation has huge benefits for society, primarily in terms of efficiency. Why should people do work that a robot can do just as well? But automation, like outsourcing, doesn’t seem to have a great track record when it comes to the distribution of income in society. The benefits of ‘labor-saving’ devices accrue to society in a way that skews toward the smaller group of business owners. Ideally, people who have been let go should still be able to put themselves to good use at around the same pay. But it doesn’t seem to work like that. What are the solutions? I like the idea of encouraging our kids to be more entrepreneurial, and including business training in school curricula. I also think we need to be more focused on retraining our labor force so that labor can be more dynamically reallocated. And perhaps tax policy will need to be reshaped, or economic winners encouraged to share their winnings with local communities in creative ways.”

Adrian O’Flynn wrote, No. “White-collar jobs will be largely unaffected by AI, and the jobs that are to be taken over by AI have already largely moved to the East.”

Patrick Stack, manager of the Digital Transformation Acquity Group, part of Accenture Interactive, responded, No. “Robotics and AI represent such a sea change that, unlike prior technological innovations, they will indeed displace more jobs in the long run than they create. The reason I answer ‘No’ is because I don’t believe this will happen by 2025; it will be a more gradual process that will likely come into play by 2040 or so. Unless new economic models can provide for large masses of economically displaced people and create a new societal bargain between capital and labor, it could be a rough ride. Robots will first make their appearance in military applications that go beyond flying drones—explosive disposal, search and recovery, and other high-risk tasks. Unlike the consumer-first mobile revolution, I think industry will lead in robot adaptation, as in fact this has already happened in automobile factories and other applications. Heavy industry will rely on little more than overseeing human operators to keep things like ports, mills, and factories automated. Smart devices at home will be popular, but operating hardware robots will lag a bit in adoption among consumers.”

Stuart Chittenden, the founder of the conversation consultancy Squishtalks, wrote, Yes. “They will displace jobs. Our work as a society is to reconfigure the economic system(s) to create alternative forms of engagement (work, labor, or otherwise). Stuart Chittenden—In the domains of manufacturing, transport, communication (message delivery), labor-related endeavor, robotics will be quite usual. In the problem-solving and diagnostic fields, AI will also be taking a more prominent role. Robotics will even intrude in the world of inter-human relatedness (e.g. automated health care). Travel to new places (escapism) will increase without robotics or AI, but augmentation will perniciously arise there too. Drug use will increase.”

Glen Farrelly, a self-employed digital media researcher and consultant wrote, Yes. “The prime motivation for the development and wide-scale deployment of advanced technology has been for efficiencies and historically such technological innovations have made many more workers obsolete than they create jobs. As with all advanced technology, there will always be an uneven distribution with the poor, old, and disabled having much less access to AI and robotics. AI and robotics will make tremendous gains in industry and probably less in the everyday lives of people. Advances in AI and robotics will make for new forms of gaming and toys.”

James Penrod, former CIO at Pepperdine University, the University of Maryland at Baltimore, California State University at Los Angeles, and the University of Memphis, replied, Yes. “There will be positive dramatic changes but jobs may well be lost in industries using the new technology and this time it may also impact white-collar jobs as well. However completely new companies will arise based on AI and other technological advances creating jobs never before needed. I am not sure if the creation will outpace the elimination process. I think all new homes will be ‘smart’ by then and there will be substantial retrofitting of existing homes with technology that increases safety, comfort, saves money, and reduces ongoing repairs. I doubt that our highway system will have been updated across the board, there will be some very sophisticated areas but much of the nation will not yet reap the benefits of what will be possible. Entertainment may well have been significantly advanced with available technology bringing huge change.”

Perry Hewitt wrote, Yes. “We wanted flying cars, and now we have 140 characters—and awesome thermostats.”

Jonelle Prether Darr wrote, Yes. “I believe that just as we’ve seen the demise of major industries such as newspapers and bookstores, digitization and artificial intelligence will have displaced even more entry level white-collar and blue-collar jobs by 2025.”

Emma Guillory wrote, No. “2025 is far too close for us to assume that robotics will have advanced to the point where jobs will be displaced to this degree. We can expect that there will be advances in the types of robotics used in factories, etc., but that there will always be a need for blue-collar workers. There will be an increase in white-collar individuals designing and operating these types of robotics. I can’t imagine that robotic transit will be really prevalent in 2025 (but wouldn’t it be THE BEST if it was?). When that day will come (further in the future than 2025), you’ll have a large displacement of blue-collar truck drivers, etc. Also, the offshore oil and gas industries stand to change a lot due to robotics. Perhaps divers and welders will begin to be replaced due to robotics, preventing having humans perform such dangerous (and expensive) work. The general population won’t really see the impact robotics is having. I don’t expect to see robots in houses cleaning up, or our cars driving themselves by then. But we will be impacted by the price of goods maybe going down if good quality robotics are able to be added in certain factories. And hopefully these factories will be able to be brought to the US instead of having to be outsourced.”

Walter Minkle, an information science professional, responded, Yes. “Corporations will take advantage of any opportunity they can to avoid hiring and paying workers. We’ve already seen how checkers in stores have been partially replaced by self-checkout units, almost all banking is done by Web and ATM, and those businesses don’t have to hire as many checkers or tellers, or we all know the corporate phone numbers that make speaking to a human being as difficult as possible. So we can expect almost all store clerks to be disembodied voices soon, attached to smart-card readers. The big test for AI will be whether it can handle individual matters that require human-style judgment and interpretation of corporate or institutional policies and procedures (how to refinance your loan when you can’t quite afford to make your payments, for example, or to do all city/county/state business by phone). Again, it will be primarily in businesses that ordinary folks use, and primarily in sales, but much depends on concurrent tech developments. If vehicles can be simplified, for example, probably most maintenance can be accomplished by robot mechanics. The areas that will probably change least will probably be those affecting human services, such as health care—mental health care in particular—and child care. Those workers who are volunteers or are paid little—those who work with the homeless, for example—will probably not be replaced by machines. Also those who deal in luxury products and services—those who deal in large amounts of money—will probably not be replaced by machines, either.”

Kit Keller, a librarian researcher and consultant, commented, No. “This type of development, growth, and maintenance will take highly skilled engineers, IT professionals, and educators to support the provision of that workforce. Formats and delivery mechanisms will evolve (can’t say how) but outcomes will likely be similar—to learn, enjoy, entertain, teach, help, relax. People will still have the same desires, hopes, goals (personal); achieving them may require other skills and tools but that’s just the medium.”

Tim Kambitsch, an activist Internet user, wrote, Yes. “Displacement of white and blue-collar jobs will mean further reductions in the number of quality middle class jobs. The disruption will be more significant as there will be an every widening gulf between the haves and have-nots. For those with appropriate income, the impact will be exhaustive and at times seem magical. For 80% or more that will be poor, the impact on their daily lives will be minimal.”

Trudy Schuett, chair of the Regional Council on Aging for Western Arizona, wrote, Yes. “Technological advances always eliminate some jobs, but it seems that historically, those lost jobs are replaced by others of different kinds, in other industries. We still don’t have flying cars, but it is entirely possible that personal transportation will have advanced to the point where many of the current hazards, such as distracted driving, will have been eliminated.”

Karen Matis responded, No. We are ‘shifting’ towards more technologically advanced systems. Regardless, machines cannot solve ALL human problems. Take for example the Pennsylvania turnpike which is slated to go to all digital in the near future. These machines that collect the tolls still require humans to process transactions and repair/replace machines that don’t work properly. The shift will be towards more work that involves the maintenance and upgrading of these systems. What I believe this means is that college and technical schools will expand their programs and recruit for these positions.”

Fran Mentch, an information science professional, commented, Yes. “I hope I am wrong, but I think it will lead to even more disparity in our society between the social classes. Robots will make robots. I am worried that our economy will only produce very low skilled jobs and very high skilled jobs. I hope I am wrong! Manufacturing will be strongly impacted. Transportation may become safer and more efficient and easier on the environment.”

Barbara Genco, manager of special projects for Library Journal, wrote, Yes. “There will be significant social consequence. People who live and work in newly created spaces will have all the beat tech has to offer. Those in aging cities and rural areas will be living farther from the digital divide. Aging workers will be marginalized, have hours reduced, or laid off. There will be less work for those in service jobs. I live in a 100+ year old apartment in NYC. Retrofitting will be tough. I am pretty well wired, cable, Internet radio, WiFi, etc. But as I age how will this impact my aging in place? Will I have more options for home care, health care, food and sanitation support? I can see that more mass transportation will be impacted in cities, but how will it be financed?”

Robert Furberg, senior clinical informaticist for RTI International, responded, No. “While the emergence and adoption of new technologies threatens to displace particular types of jobs that can be routinized and executed more efficiently or safely by machines, new domains will be created at a pace that will be balanced by eternal market forces. Our nascent adoption of social technologies in the present day can serve to illustrate the trend. For a quick measure, how many social marketing professionals/blogads/virtual community managers did you know five years ago?”

Gloria Franco of the NYU School of Medicine commented, Yes. “I’m afraid they will. already people are being displaced with EZpass and phone ‘operators.’ Frankly, I prefer a human who answers a phone than a machine that leads me through meandering and confusing prompts that I forget by the time I need to push a button. Factory work will be robotic, and maybe some mechanical things. some surgeries already use robots, but a surgeon is much more preferable. I think in the end, people will see that humans cannot really be replaced. I hope so anyway. when it comes to snap judgments and decisions, a robot really cannot think like a human.”

Karina Besprosvan, research and analytics director for Omnicommedia Group, replied, No. “In 2015 humans will still be placing the most jobs, as they will be related with interactions. AI will be developed to help in the research, and post work parts. AIs are expected to be good helpers and interact with humans, but humans will still be driving all of the goals, discoveries, application, and distribution of knowledge. Health and how to live with natural resources changing will be part of everybody’s main tasks, dealing with climate change, aging populations, new allergies, food changes, migration, diversity, primary resources, new planets, and life. For all this subject, the best integration will be: humans + robots working together. Sciences, R&D, traveling and driving, health advances, will be dominated by an increased population of robots, as mechanization of certain procedures can rely on them. People will still marry, grow families, interact, entertain, build houses, go to parks, go to church, doctors, lawyers, shopping, counselors, advisors.”

Carol Foreman, an information science professional, wrote, No. “What made me answer this question ‘no’ is perhaps my ignorance of how fast AI, robots and digital agents can improve and take over human work. I do believe this is already happening in sectors where the job is repetitive and not social; but to advance so far as to be human-like I would think we have a way to go yet. I have never been fearful of change, and this type of technology would certainly change the economics of the world, but humans are pretty smart and creative and will come up with other job avenues to keep us working and feeling productive. Also, the need to transition to another energy source will, I hope, occupy minds and money. How much this will impact technology advances such as the above I do not know, but I certainly hope the world starts to see how smart we must be. Like most everything in this country, change starts at the coasts and works inward to the middle. AI and robots have taken over a lot of manufacturing jobs…but those jobs are predominately in the east. AI and robots are certainly on the minds of technology experts on the west coast, but not so much in the middle of the country. However, here in Colorado perhaps AI and robots will have a more prevalent role in agriculture and do away with the need for seasonal workers. There is something, however, which makes me wonder about all of this: young people’s idea of what makes life worthwhile. In surveys I have seen, young people do not rate gadgets and technology improvements very highly (yes they like smart phones, social media) but they do rate family and meaningful work very highly. Will the rise of AI and robots improve family and work for most people or create disparities in our country?”

Tim Mallory, an information science professional, commented, No. “New technology always opens up unimagined new possibilities. The only question is whether a lag of re-schooling and retraining will ensue as the new technology becomes ubiquitous (or extinct) in society.”

Susan Barnum, a respondent who did not share a professional background, wrote, No. “As we use more and more technology, there will be a need for people to ‘train’ and program the robots. Robots, digital agents and AI tools do not ‘think’ the way that we do. They’ll need to be trained. This is already going on in factories (training robots to perform certain motor tasks). People will need to be involved to maintain and ensure that AI equipment and robots are operating correctly and within specified parameters. However, this does mean that certain ‘types’ of jobs will be displaced. People will have to move into different areas of employment—such as the maintenance of our robot and AI tools. There will be more different kinds of jobs created than there will be a displacement of jobs. Automation of many daily (boring) tasks will be robotic. I already have a robotic vacuum. I’m working with my own microchips in the form of Arduino and Adafruit Flora. I see that we can use technology to integrate into our clothes, our bodies and I see that as a positive thing. Being reminded easily about birthdays, upcoming appointments, facts and more is what digital excels in. Humans aren’t great at a lot of things—we have natural fallacies built into our thinking processes. Digital can make up for that. I hope that life will change to allow us to worry less about the mundane and spend more time being creative and enjoying life. I love my technology… I love the challenge of building my own tech. I also love the sunset and the feel of the wind on my face. I love that I can easily snap a photo any time I wish. I love that I can allow the digital to help me remember the things I love.”

Mary Malinconico, a consultant, commented, No. “By 2025, we will need more jobs that require imagination and creativity, not just rote jobs. Art and creativity will remain unchanged along with creative writing. I also think AI and robotics will allow us to spend additional quality time with family and friends !

Will Stuivenga, an information science professional in the state of Washington, replied, No. “It’s very difficult to predict, but for every job that is displaced, there is likely to be some other type of job that is created, even though many if not most of those jobs may likely require additional education and/or training than the jobs they are displacing.”

Tina Glengary, director of strategy at Instrument, wrote, No. “We are endlessly creative in how we develop new services and disciplines that cannot be replaced by robotic advances or AI. Similar to the manner that mechanized appliances revolutionized work within the home (freeing up time for people to do other things), I believe we will take advantage of the time saved. People seem more willing to accept AI and robotics to take over quotidian and mundane tasks (commuting, tracking expenses, etc.). Again, it will free up time to do other more creative and personal things.”

Scott McLeod, director of innovation for the Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency in Iowa, responded, No. “Like other historical technological advances, I believe that robots, digital agents, and AI tools will displace some jobs but create others, eventually evening out at some new level of stability. There always will be short-term employment displacements (and long-term sector extinctions) but history proves that over time we gain new skills to and are able to do more things working with the newer technologies.”

Neil Krasnoff, an instructional system design professional, wrote, Yes. “Employment in transportation and manufacturing sectors will likely be obliterated. The automation will put millions out of work and I can’t imagine with population growth that unemployment in most countries will be over 25% long-term. It will be horrible for the mental health of these people and it will make their lives seem meaningless. People will become more comfortable interacting with robots that serve individual requests. Many people will likely have robots in their lives with which they have greater intimacy than any human partner. Robots will be more in tune with moods and needs of people than other people and will therefore be more effective at selling. The only fields I can’t see as replaced by robots are creative fields.” An information science professional wrote, No. “They will create different jobs, just like current computers didn’t really reduce the need for works, just changed the skills they need.”

Casey Rae of the Future of Music Coalition and Georgetown University wrote, Yes. “It is 2025. Human intelligence has largely been outsourced to machines. A select few corporations and financial institutions extract incalculable value from the unceasing data flow, taking advantage of relentless digital efficiencies at global scale. Labor has evolved from production and distribution to the specialized maintenance of increasingly autonomous networks. A flash of explosive economic growth briefly accompanies this transition, followed by a persistent hobbling of human productivity. Those employed to serve the network are fairly well rewarded; the rest eke out a living on the margins in a stupor of digital subordination. Current debates around privacy and cybersecurity are illustrative of the challenges in a networked world where private corporations, courts and governments hold tremendous sway over our most fundamental rights. But this is hardly even the whole picture. In our relentless pursuit of efficiency and economic expansion, we may end up writing human productivity right out of the script. There may, in fact, be a limit to how well economies can function past a certain level of networked integration. Furthermore, there may be a finite set of beneficiaries within these efficiencies. Think of it as a kind of natural law, an economic entropy hastened by the arrival of machine intelligence and large-scale data extrapolation. For whom do these systems work? What are the real-world impacts for those outside of the narrow areas of productivity afforded to actual people? How can a hyper-efficient non-scarcity economy exist within a world of finite resources and real human need? This is the dark side of the Singularity, in which our species ceases to play a meaningful role in its own destiny. Where the vast majority of humanity does not experience uplift but rather stagnates as a handful of elites reap the benefits of globally-networked capital exploitation. Human ingenuity is flattened in a tsunami of information, even as machines make exponential leaps in efficiency by absorbing and reconfiguring impossibly large data sets. Patterning and prediction is the sole province of the network. Inspiration is an archaic conceit. Digital replication of our ourselves is possible but provides no spiritual succor. We are bereft of meaning; asleep.”

Karen Landis, user-experience team lead for Belk.com (a department store), wrote, Yes. “We will be separated by our technology. Those that can afford robots, digital agents and AI tools will live in a completely different world from those that can’t. The biggest change will be in what it means to be ‘educated’ and in the definition of ‘work.’ Children won’t need to study to learn. They will download it. Work will need to be redefined. I suspect the majority of the population won’t ‘work.’ I don’t understand what their existence will be or how they will find meaning.”

Joan Neslund, an information science professional responded, No. “Jobs will change and worker will need stronger and stronger tech skills but sadly to say no computer has ever in the global look at things taken the number of jobs away; they simply create different jobs. Homes will be networked to devices and controlled remotely. Workplaces will be fully monitored at all times. We will be tracked and accounted for.”

Susan Keating, a self-employed digital consultant and instructor responded, Yes. “With fewer people willing to do menial, repetitive tasks and the ability to have many of them done robotically—there will be more people displaced. Life may be come easier for the wealthy through these new advances, but I don’t think the shrinking middle class will be able to afford them. I think the wealthiest will be able to afford the most useful robotics. Driving of taxis, buses, trains can be done by robotics. Personal cars may also be driven by non-persons. Perhaps repetitive tasks or ones of unpleasant circumstance can be replaced. I can imagine cashiers at all stores, the harvesting of fruits and vegetables, all laundry and food prep, and cleaning done by non-persons.”

Carol Ann Pala, an information science professional based in Delaware responded, Yes. “Less-skilled jobs will be replaced by fewer but more highly skilled jobs. Our government should have been working on this 10 years ago, it was predicted and now it is here and we have not re-trained our labor force. I think of 3D printing and how in 2025 some part breaks in your house and you look it up online and print it off in your home. No tradesman, retail, transportation or company will be involved! What does that economy look like?”

Pietro Ciminelli, director of finance for BOCES, commented, Yes. “Robots will be able to do more mundane jobs and skilled jobs increasing unemployment. Only those will up to date skills will be able to retool themselves. As technology advances people may need to learn several professions in a lifetime.”

Bob Harootyan, manager of research for a national nonprofit organization, wrote, Yes. “The ‘first round’ of such advances has already occurred in many sectors, such as steel production. In the steel industry automated production processes are controlled by one computer-trained operator, replacing at least 10 workers ‘on the floor.’ Even if one assumes that the creation, production and maintenance of such robotic technologies creates three or four jobs, there is still a net loss in total jobs. Robotic systems in warehousing have produced similar net job losses. Robotic systems increase productivity and reduce labor costs. They can operate 24/7, do not require overtime pay or health benefits, etc. The market for most blue-collar jobs is shrinking and there are changes in the type of training required for workers in many production industries and in some service industries (e.g., assembly line operators, cashiers, some construction workers, etc.). Finally, the personal secretary I had through the 1990s is rarely found today. We are our own secretaries—directly drafting and completing documents, answering phones, etc. By 2025, consumers’ use of smart technologies will be much more common across a wide range of residential components, including energy use/savings, security, and other features. An individual’s use of robotics will be less common, largely because of the cost compared to value gained. But AI and robotics will be much more common in industry, thereby affecting the availability and cost of many products and services for the ‘general population.’ Commercial vehicles and passenger automobiles will have numerous AI advances in safety and comfort. Driverless or auto-pilot vehicles will be feasible in selected areas where the necessary infrastructure has been installed. All types of travel will be quicker, more efficient, and safer (air, rail, etc.). Telework will be much more common in the white-collar sector, but total hours worked will be similar. AI and robotics in health care will have direct and indirect effects on one’s life, ranging from remote home-based telemonitoring to more effective, safe and efficient diagnostic and surgical procedures. Relatively unchanged will be personal time at home or outside the home, personal grooming functions, and home chores/maintenance. Meal functions may become more efficient.”

David Lee King, an information science professional, wrote, Yes. “More of the ‘assembly line’ types of jobs and tasks will become automated. This will mostly be a background, behind-the-scenes thing. So it won’t be too noticeable.”

Michael Starks, an information science professional, commented, Yes. “Without a resurgence of organized labor’s influence or a fundamental change in government’s attitude toward workers, corporations will continue to be allowed to strive for greater productivity without regard to effect on workers and their families. Robotics and AI developments will continue to reduce the need for human labor, and the number of high-paying jobs for college graduates in the US will continue to decline. Americans’ purchasing power will continue to decline, but corporations will be willing to accept that because even larger consumer markets are emerging in Asia and Africa. AI and robotics will be ubiquitous. They will replace primary and secondary school teachers, technical and other nonfiction writers, commercial illustrators, retail workers, and many government employees—anyone whose work produces a product or service that is variable within narrow boundaries and is delivered repeatedly and routinely to customers who do not expect or want variety or creativity. For instance, AI and robotic devices will replace virtually all employees who deal directly with people who want to qualify for or renew their driver’s licenses.”

Patty Kishman, a communications manager, wrote, No. “It seems to me that over the next decade, lots of workers—manual, technical and professional—will be involved in implementing new systems of AI. Beyond that, I believe many traditional jobs will be replaced by AI. Public programs must be developed and enhanced to keep people working and to support working people. I think domestic life—our private lives inside our homes—won’t change as much as public and work life.”

Vickie Kline, an associate professor at York College, responded, Yes. “If we reach a point where the only jobs available are those that robots, digital agents, and AI can’t perform effectively, there most likely won’t be enough traditional jobs available. At some point we need to decide if all people have a basic right to things like food, shelter, health care, and education. We also need to redefine the value we assign to various human activities. I hope that agents will simplify access and monitoring of communication/information streams. Self-driving vehicles will be important if scientist can resolve the problem of alerting and triggering awareness in sufficient time for situations requiring manual driver intervention.”

M.A. Iverson replied, Yes. “It’s certainly possible that robotic devices and AI will take over even more tasks than they already have. What’s missing from the discussion is any thought to context and consequences. Throughout history (recorded and un-) our ability to innovate has outstripped our ability to adapt our culture, thinking, and habits without overwhelming upheaval. In the Stone Age, stone tool-users eclipsed folks with clubs in their ability to survive. Then the Bronze Age, enhanced metallurgy transformed metal use from jewelry into more effective weapons and possibly higher levels of carnage. In that vein, today we are unable to develop a new weapon without finding a flimsy excuse to use it on someone—usually someone poor and far away—and then make money selling it to both sides in any conflict. We placate ourselves by developing policies that prohibit their use—AS WE PAY other nations to use them against their own people or their neighbors. We’ve developed drones to keep our military safe (which is, in its own right, an odd contradiction), and now Amazon is contemplating their use to unemploy delivery drivers. And that is simply one small string of technological ‘advancement.’ The underlying or overarching questions must be these: To what end? What cultural, ethical, moral, and economic frameworks do we wish to create, and then live with? What, then, will the disrupted workers do for a living? Without new horizons of innovation, we’re at an evolutionary dead end for the vast majority of human beings (and, for that matter, beasts of burden) on the planet. There is a rich history of unintended consequences in tools and technology development. We’d be wise to re-watch all of James Burke’s Connections programs, and Eugen Weber’s The Western Tradition to give us an idea of how we got to where we are today, and serve as object lessons on where we might be headed if we allow technology to overwhelm cultures. When European missionaries went to Australia and gave steel axe heads to the indigenous people, all heck broke loose because the knowledge required to make a good, sharp stone axe head was the ‘capstone project’ for the transition between boyhood and manhood in the indigenous culture. The intended result of bringing in the steel axes enabled anyone to cut down anything far more effectively; The unintended result made elders unnecessary, teens unruly, and accelerated deforestation. If we want to ‘free up’ humans for higher and better purposes, relieve physical burdens, speed up defined calculations, enhance perceptions beyond human capabilities, inspire artistic achievement, and seed undreamed-of innovations, then technology and AI are definitely essential and valuable parts of the future landscape. If, on the other hand, we lose sight of the context and consequences, then everyone who does not own the factory, lab, research facility, animal farm, or hydroponic producer of GM foods is no longer necessary. We already don’t value the workers—whatever sort or color of collars they wear. If they aren’t seen as necessary, why do they exist? Just evaluate the current political debate over unemployment benefits or health care: Would the topics discussed today even be considered if we truly valued human beings? We are at the ‘Tipping Point”—that environmental point of no return. Our fractured ‘leadership’ seems to be doing their best to undo the last 300 years of social progress solely for their own profit, and the rest of the people—and the planet we live on—be damned. If we can’t have a good 500 years of endemic plague, we’ll have to make do with unemployment, no access to health care, hunger, starvation, and suicidal depression to handle the overpopulation…or we can simply poison the entire planet with toxins; destroy the factors that created our habitable planet, or blow the sucker up in the process of draining the last natural resource from the ground we stand on. Without solid—and fast—global moral awakening, without immediate cessation of fossil fuel extraction/consumption, without an immediate reversal of the ‘trickle-up’ economy giving all the power and resources to the top 1% , the whole planet and everything on it is doomed. On our current course, in 11 years, nothing will ‘remain relatively unchanged.”

Sam Moreland, a mechanical engineer, replied, No. “Net jobs will not be destroyed but the nature of the work will definitely shift. Just as fewer people today are involved in farming than there were 100 years ago, many of today’s jobs may not be around. There will need to be a continuous education process for companies and employees to keep up with the changing job market. Driverless cars have the potential to completely change public transportation. Why have half empty buses being driven around when you can program a fleet of fuel efficient or electric cars to provide point to point transportation. Not only would this be an operational savings but it would be more convenient than the current system and has the potential to drastically increase participation.”

Meg Houston Maker, a writer, editorial strategist and private consultant, replied, No. “While AI tools may move into realms not currently occupied by robots or user agents, this will free up humans to do the things they do exceptionally well: use canny judgment, express compassion, and think creatively in crisis. They’re already part of the ordinary landscape, and will continue to be so. They’ll help most with filtering: bringing to light information that we want and need but have no clue how to find in the internet’s haystack. They’ll learn our preferences as they serve up tidbits and watch as we smile and thank them.”

Amy Crook, an IT assistant, wrote, “I am interpreting this question as ‘American jobs’ versus ‘global.’ I do not believe that by 2025 robots will play a significant impact on home life or job life. Automation will, however, such as increased self-check-out-type services, but at new kinds of places, like libraries, rental car agencies, etc. I think 10 years is not enough time to a.) perfect the technology to make robots/AI commonplace, and b.) make the cost of these technologies attractive enough for them to be more than a novelty. So no, the jobs of developing these technologies *in the next 10 years* will outpace the jobs these technologies replace.”

Daren C. Brabham, assistant professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California, wrote, No. “It is a long-standing sci-fi fantasy that someday our advances in automation/AI/robots will make human labor obsolete and allow us to live happier, healthier lives of leisure. That has never proven to be true—we work harder and longer in the US now than we ever have, despite technological advances. Technologies do not just make themselves. A growth in these new technologies and their applications will only create higher demand for high-skilled labor. Many industries will suffer as these new technologies displace them, but on the whole I think more new jobs will be created, not destroyed. Blue-collar jobs may decline in robot-producing countries, but white-collar jobs will increase. I see robotics/AI taking hold in transportation more, both in the management of complex transit systems and in self-driving (or semi-self-driving) personal transport by 2025. By then, we will have the equivalent of HOV lanes dedicated for cars capable of driving themselves, where those cars will move faster and closer together with the help of AI control systems. I see robotics/AI also taken a stronger hold in medicine, both in medical research and testing and in doctor-patient interactions. On this latter point, basic telemedicine applications/robots will serve a significant portion of healthcare needs for rural and poor populations by 2025, with robot-doc-in-a-box pods dispersed throughout the country that can automatically take blood pressure, draw blood, and other simple diagnostic procedures.”

Robin Brenner said, No. “While I think that robotics and AI will have an impact, it seems overly alarmist to say that this would happen in 10 years. It will happen, but not so rapidly. That being said, changes can happen so very quickly with technology, I don’t think it will be so much because we can’t make those changes, but because society will have reservations that keep it from progressing very fast. We all have Skynet lurking in the back of our boogeymen stories. :-)”

Maureen Schriner, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire wrote, No. “Job displacement is not the issue. The key question will be one of the Digital Divide, in terms of access and ability/training to use these new AI technologies. The exacerbating points will be the inequality in incomes and education levels, which tend to be most unfair to people of non-white races. The truly ‘intelligent’ technology of AI and robotics will be those advances that create new experiences for a broad base of the population. Take the example of Apple’s iPod on music—and multiple it exponentially. Let’s consider a common experience, dating, which has been transformed by people meeting via the Internet. Now apply AI, and consider how AI developments could be used to match couples worldwide, and then offer experiences for couples to meet each other virtually, and then arrange couples to meet in person. AI could become the major conduit for relationships. This kind of transformation of relationships has social and cultural and economic effects.”

Walter Carroll responded, Yes. “In my view, business decisions are usually driven by economic considerations and it is only government oversight and regulation that historically and in the future will mitigate the loss of jobs and ensuing social consequences.”

Mike Caprio, a software engineer for a consulting firm wrote, Yes. “Displacing jobs seems to be the consequence of education being outstripped by the technical efficiency of robots and AI. Washing machines and dryers are robots that replaced the jobs of laundry washing persons, but no one is really complaining about the loss of those jobs—just the increase in leisure and time saved. Those whose jobs are eliminated by general robotics and intelligence need paths to other careers, which means more education is necessary; but it will be necessary simply to live life, not just to maintain a career. Program or be programmed. By 2025 there will be more of the same in terms of ‘walled garden’ consumer devices like tablets and smartphones, except that they will be smarter digital and physical assistants. The majority of people will be tied to little black boxes that they can’t or won’t be allowed to open up and modify.”

Richard Rothenberg, a professor at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University wrote, No. “You said ‘displaced,’ not disrupted. There will be significant disruption, and a major revision of the educational and health care systems, all of which will make human capital more vital, not extraneous. The problem is, however, that the political will to serve the required human capital is less predictable. Convenience, mostly. We will get used to having things happen very quickly. Fundamental human character and interactions are unlikely to change (for example, just read any set of responses to an online article or blog).”

David Golumbia, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, wrote, Yes. “These forces are already eradicating and diminishing the role of human beings in labor in every sphere of life, and the countervailing pressures have already been demonstrated as inadequate. ‘AI and robotics’ are already huge parts of the ordinary landscape of the general population, in many ways that the general population does not see. I can imagine almost no sphere of life that will remain relatively unchanged, even if as a secondary effect.”

Collette Sosnowy, a social science researcher and professor studying social media, responded, Yes. “Automated machines have already disrupted post-industrial jobs and the next generation of technologies will continue to do so. Through technology, manufacturing processes have become more efficient, lessening the need for human labor in so called ‘blue-collar’ jobs. However, capitalist production, bent on ever-increasing consumption and profit, has sped up rather than slowed down manufacturing. In the interest of profit, companies have moved manufacturing overseas where there are fewer regulations, far lower wages, and a disempowered labor market. So, rather than fewer jobs, there are more jobs, but they are exploitative ones. Interestingly, it is technology, along with trade policies, that have allowed for these globalized practices. Similarly, ‘white-collar’ jobs are being transferred overseas, and dismantled from whole jobs to tasks that can be performed by easily replaceable workers. The social consequences are a continuing hemorrhaging of jobs from the US and a widening gap between rich and poor. For the educated class, a continued increase in a mobile, freelance lifestyle will be necessary to succeed in the labor market. Although advancing rapidly, 2025 still seems to close for AI and robotics to play a hugely significant role in our daily lives. While technologies fascinate us and sometimes make things easier, people still like to do thing themselves and have agency over their lives.”

Adam Gismondi, a PhD candidate in higher education at Boston College commented, Yes. “In terms of net jobs, AI will result in less positions. However, AI will also result in an increase in well-paying, highly-skilled jobs.”

Adam Nelson, founder of Kili.io, a cloud Infrastructure in Africa, wrote, Yes. “Self-driven trains are already common and safety protocols have improved to the point where fewer flight attendants and pilots are required on planes. This will continue although as people demand more such services—more complicated services will still require human effort. In 2025 AI and robotics will still be a distant niche in the ordinary landscape and the general population. 1 billion people still don’t even have access to electricity.”

Michel Grossetti responded, No. “Usually, new technologies create as many jobs that they destroy. But these are not the same jobs. Many activities will be taken over by robots and AI. Some humans will benefit from it, others will suffer. Social inequalities will continue, or increase.”

Matt Belge, a user-experience designer at Vision and Logic, wrote, No. “I do not believe robots will replace human intelligence by 2025, or anytime soon thereafter. Robots will be used to amplify human capabilities. We are already seeing this today in tasks as diverse as surgery and bomb detection, as well as manufacturing. The history of such technology tells us that while some jobs may be displaced in the short term, in the long term they typically provide cheaper goods and more affordability for a wider range of people. This tends to lift society as a whole. Put another way, I expect robots to do for labor what cars and trucks did for transportation.”

Jim Jansen, an associate professor at Penn State, replied, Yes. ”In the short term more jobs will be eliminated than created. In the long term, some of these jobs will be come back, but at lower pay. The rich will get richer. There will not be as much change as we think.”

Polina Kolozaridi, a faculty member at the Center for New Media and Society, based in Russia, responded, No. “AI tools will develop, but at the same time there will emerge the counter-trend. People will go farming and move to smaller towns, they won’t let robots to do any part of human-to-human interaction jobs. There will be a high demand in humanities and art because plenty of people will have more time they do not understand how to deal with and mass media won’t help them. Finally, the opposition of white- and blue-collars will become more severe, and poor people won’t be able to use AI in their everyday life. All the parts will change, but in some of them AI will dominate: transportation and logistics, calculating, some industries. But the others will be more ‘humanistic’ because light industries like knitting or food will become more individual.”

Tony Cline, an adjunct professor of sociology and education at Columbia University, wrote, No. “Automation will cause shifts in the labor force. However, I anticipate that the creation of new jobs will lag behind the elimination of manual labor positions. Also, the geographical relocation of both manual and automated jobs will further exacerbate the negative consequences of labor market unrest. Mass manufacturing will be the first and most-extensive applications of AI and robotics. If the creation of large databases of customer behaviors and preferences continues, then niche advertising will become increasingly common and effective; and expanding consumerism will dominate the economy. Unfortunately, teaching and learning at all levels will not be significantly altered or enhanced. The economic incentives for improving the educati0n sector of society are simply too meager.”

James Wisdom, owner of Wisdom Consulting and General Contracting LLC, wrote, No. “They will create jobs always have a human interaction as electronics can fail and humans can be trained to fix glitches and such. They will take the heavy, dangerous burdens off our backs and let us work at finding new and creative ideas for the future and the parts that will be unchanged will be that man will still think ideas for himself.”

Lisa Dangutis, webmaster for The Sunshine Environment Link, replied, No. “Robots have been on the market for years. If anything overtime it will increase technology jobs. Robots are not cheap and not a quick replacement. The replacement use rate will have a hard time growing to that high of a degree in twelve years. It would not make sense in terms of a cost-benefit analysis for a high growth rate. Life will be relatively unchanged with the exception of communication tools. Robots may be in use more in recovery efforts and as tools that protect human life but it will not impact man kind to the point of severe replacement. I don’t believe that in 12 years the land scape will be that changed. Robots costs are still to high to be practical in everyday life.”

John G. McNutt, a professor at the University of Delaware, wrote, No. “Our conception of employment will change. Jobs are an artifact of the industrial age 2025 will be characterized by pervasive technology.”

K.G. Schneider, a university librarian, wrote, “By 2025—no. But by then we may see a growing reliance on and expectation of AI and robotics in our lives that will create the conditions where job displacement will be seen as ‘necessary,’ much as our consumption of nonrenewable resources trumps rationale decisions about our environment. By 2025 AI, robotics, and ubiquitous computing will have snuck into parts of our lives without us understanding to what extent it has happened (much as I just went on a camping trip with a smartphone, laptop, and tablet). One positive outcome will be how the lives of physically-challenged people will be made much easier.”

Judith Perrolle, a professor at Northeastern University, based in Boston, wrote, Yes. “But due to an aging population, the use of robotics in industries like nursing homes and transportation will not cause massive unemployment as the percentage of working age people declines worldwide. Death rates due to automobile and truck accidents will be vastly reduced. Driving will decline as a source of masculine self-esteem. AI will not produce thinking, feeling devices, but AI researchers will keep claiming that they have almost reached that stage (as they have done since the mid 20th century). The automobile will become part of an expanded public transportation system. A legal sub-specialty in autonomous product liability will arise and be quelled by specific legislation freeing manufacturers from fault. Occasionally an autonomous vehicle will create a spectacular accident which causes widespread moral blame but little punishment for manufacturers.

Kevin Reilly, a simulation technologist for Samuel Merritt University Health Sciences Simulation Center and PhD candidate, replied, No. “The public will still be getting used the presence of such devices and the spread of these innovative tools will be slowed, allowing for a socially acceptable balance between job displacement trends and the birthing of wholly new industries as a result. The sectors experiencing the greatest disruption will likely be manufacturing and transportation.”

Charles Hendricksen, a retired mechanical and software engineer and entrepreneur, replied, Yes. “I’ve spent the majority of my professional life in developing tools, both hardware and software, to de-skill and eliminate routine jobs. I see that trend continuing. This is the crux of ‘The Great Restructuring.’ Robotics will be pervasive and will leave no aspect of life unchanged unless a person chooses to avoid change in that aspect. AI will come along at a slower pace.”

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