The Technological revolution threatens an unemployment crisis in the world and China after gathering pace during pandemic.
During the past 200 years, technological revolutions have expanded the borders of globalization and have dragged millions into poverty.
Already the landscape is changing dramatically with China at the forefront of this brave, new world for some and a nightmare for others.
China is using automation on a scale like no other country. From AI news anchors on [state-run television] to one-minute [health] clinics to robot-run factories, China is using artificial intelligence and robots to take over the entire spectrum of human capabilities.
It was city-jobs that drove urbanization in China. Now, however, if the blue-collar and white-collar jobs are both being automated, reverse urbanization may follow. This will create a new kind of economy for China, which in turn could change domestic politics, trade deals and foreign policy.
The “sheer scale” of Beijing’s ambitions are immense. Investment in science and tech research in the world’s second-largest economy was US$355.4 billion last year or 2.5% of GDP, official data revealed. Only the United States spent more as China edged past Japan.
Up to 17.5 trillion yuan, or $2.47 trillion, will be pumped into ramping up infrastructure spending in the high-tech sector during the next six years, the Shanghai Securities News reported in May.
Priority funding in the next 12 months will go to 5G base stations, EV charging outlets, big data centers, AI and the industrial internet, such as robotics.
Also, unlike previous rounds of traditional infrastructure investment on roads, bridges and high-speed rail networks, private companies will be heavily involved in the mix.
Still, the pace of change will generate a different set of problems, including the specter of unemployment. Since 2014, the nation’s automation industry has expanded by 28% with 650,000 robots going online in 2018.
The changing nature of work is generating fears about mass unemployment. These trends are straining the relationships among citizens, firms and governments across the globe,” the World Bank stated in a report.
In developed and developing economies, the fallout from the Corona-virus catastrophe threatens to trigger economic pandemonium and ballooning unemployment across the globe.
Already, it’s projected that 51 million jobs in Europe could disappear because of automation. The point is, the appetite for automation is rising and it’s no longer limited to just entry-level jobs, according to the Center for Innovating the Future.
It’s no longer just about janitors or truck drivers or factory workers. Everyone could be on the chopping block because the pandemic has fundamentally changed how businesses operate. There are now huge geopolitical risks as automation takes off.
Asia Times / ABC Flash Point Cyber News 2020.