Retraining after automation

Andrew Ng, professor at Stanford and founder of Coursera (one the first and most popular online schools, where Andrew’s Machine Learning course is extremely popular), recently discussed the difficulty of retraining people as their positions are transformed or made redundant through technology.

Historically technology has created challenges for labor.

The U.S. took 200 years to get from 98% to 2% farming employment. Over that span of 200 years we could retrain the descendants of farmers.

With this technology today, that transformation might happen much faster.

What our educational system has never done is train many people who are alive today. Things like Coursera are our best shot, but I don’t think they’re sufficient. People in the government and academia should have serious discussions about this.

Even if we could retrain people, where are the ‘new jobs’ going to come from?