Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently teased that his company had big plans for the production of trucks, both semi and pickup:
But will these new trucks—which, according to his “Master Plan, Part Deux” blogged last July, will include self-driving technology,—be the beginning of the end for human truck drivers?
Let’s go back to the late-2016 White House report “Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy,” which predicted that the majority of taxi and trucking jobs might be lost to self-driving AI technology (see chart from report below):
And then let’s go back to Musk’s own words regarding the upcoming unemployment situation as a result of AI replacing human workers:
What to do about mass unemployment? This is going to be a massive social challenge. There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better [than a human]. These are not things that I wish will happen. These are simply things that I think probably will happen.
And so while I do agree with Musk that there are many attractive, safe, and environmentally-friendly factors with the new electric trucks—and am not arguing that we turn back the clock regarding technological advancements—I have to ask the question I’ve been asking a lot on this site: What tangible things are being done now to anticipate and mitigate the very possible upcoming mass unemployment of these driving professions?
Or are we going to wait for sickness, despair, addiction, and a possible draft to “take care” of everything?