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Paul Solman of PBS Newshour recently went to a conference run by a California think tank called Singularity University to learn the future of human workers.
Solman noted that as far back as the Roman empire, people had worried about being displaced by machines. Emperor Vespasian, who built the Coliseum, refused to use labor-saving technology to move heavy columns. In more recent times, thinkers have worried that technological progression and increasing automation will only benefit the highly-educated and wealthy, leaving everyone behind.
“We don’t want it to be that there’ll 20 or 30 billionaires controlling everything, and the rest of us struggling for the one or two jobs that are out there,” said economist Richard Freeman.