The idea that machines will replace humans, transforming the work force, is far from new. The Luddites, bands of English workers who destroyed machinery in cotton and wood mills in the early 19th century because they believed the machines were taking their jobs, were responding to exactly these fears.
Mostly, similar concerns in the intervening two centuries have proven to be unfounded. The old jobs are lost, but new, previously unimagined jobs emerge. But will that continue to be the case? As technology develops at an accelerating pace, there is growing concern that new social divisions are emerging because the amount of valued work is decreasing.
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