Are Machines Taking Over…the Workplace?


A robotic rapid arc welder. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Hour 1

[REBROADCAST] Work is hard to find in the United States right now. The unemployment rate is at 9% and we’ve lost some 8.5 million jobs since economic downturn began. Will these jobs ever come back? Technological advances and cost savings have led more companies to replace workers with machines and according to two MIT researchers, the trend toward increased automation looks likely to continue. ERIK BRYNJOLFSSON and ANDREW MCAFEE have written a new ebook on the topic, Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy. So how can we compete with robots and computers?  And which workers and sectors are being hurt the most? Marty talks with Erik Brynjolfsson, professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business, and Andrew McAfee, Principal Research Scientist and the associate director of the MIT Center for Digital Business about how technology is changing work and the economy.

Listen to the mp3

[audio: 111711_100630.mp3]

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal