Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, has warned of the impact that technological advances, including robots potentially replacing up to 15 million jobs, could have on the least well off in society.
In a wide-ranging lecture given at Liverpool John Moores University Carney urged policy makers to tackle the causes of isolation that are leading to people becoming disillusioned with globalisation.
Carney said: “Economists haven’t been upfront about the distributional conflicts of rapid changes in technology and globalisation… While world trade makes countries as a whole better off it doesn’t raise all boats.”
One of the causes, he stated, was the technological revolution, which is disrupting the very nature of work just as the industrial revolution did in the 19th century.
He continued: “As my colleague Andrew Haldane [chief economist at the Bank of England] has explained, up to 15 million of the current jobs in Britain could be automated over time.”
Carney warned that although technological advances, including robotic workers, can be beneficial, there is a time lag before systems catch up and often it is the least well off in society that suffer.
“The fundamental challenge is that alongside its great benefits every technological revolution mercilessly destroys jobs and livelihoods – and therefore identities – well before new ones emerge.”
The fundamental challenge is that alongside its great benefits every technological revolution mercilessly destroys jobs and livelihoods – and therefore identities – well before new ones emerge.– Mark Carney