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Richard Baldwin: The Globotics Upheaval: Globalisation, Robotics, and the Future of Wor.k


At the root of inequality, unemployment, and populism are radical changes
in the world economy. Digital technology is allowing talented foreigners to
telecommute into our workplaces and compete for service and professional
jobs. Instant machine translation is melting language barriers, so the ranks
of these "tele-migrants" will soon include almost every educated person in
the world. Computing power is dissolving humans' monopoly on thinking,
enabling AI-trained computers to compete for many of the same white-collar jobs. The combination of globalization and robotics is creating the
globotics upheaval, and it threatens the very foundations of the liberal
Richard Baldwin, one of the world's leading globalization experts, argues
that the inhuman speed of this transformation threatens to overwhelm our
capacity to adapt. From computers in the office to automatic ordering
systems in restaurants, we are familiar with the how digital technologies
offer convenience while also eliminating jobs. Globotics will disrupt the lives
of millions of white-collar workers much faster than automation,
industrialization, and globalization disrupted the lives of factory workers in
previous centuries. The result will be a backlash. Professional, white-collar,
and service workers will agitate for a slowing of the unprecedented pace of
disruption, as factory workers have done in years past.
Baldwin argues that the globotics upheaval will be countered in the short
run by "shelter-ism" - government policies that shelter some service jobs
from tele-migrants and thinking computers. In the long run, people will
work in more human jobs-activities that require real people to use the
uniquely human ability of independent thought-and this will strengthen
bonds in local communities. Offering effective strategies such as focusing
on the social value of work, The Globotics Upheaval will help people prepare
for the oncoming wave of an advanced robotic workforce.

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Author Biography

Mirek Tobiáš Hošman

Mirek Tobiáš Hošman is a student of Economic Policy and International
Relations at Masaryk University. He served as a member of the scientific
committee at the XVI AISPE Conference in Bologna and conducted research
internships in Estonia, Italy and Japan. Moreover, he has published
academic articles in Czech as well as international journals. His current
research focuses on social network analysis and international development.
He is also interested in international trade regulations and philosophy of
(social) science.