By Konrad Yakabuski
The Globe and Mail
If you don’t know who (well, technically, what) Atlas is, you’d best check out this six-foot humanoid robot. He/she/it may be about to steal your job. Its creator, Google-owned Boston Dynamics, just unveiled the latest iteration of the robot that never gives up in a video that had geeks chanting “cool,” but looked to many of us like outtakes from a futuristic horror flick.
The robots are not only coming; some of them are already here. Modern auto-assembly plants already “employ” more robots than people. Voice-recognition software is displacing countless call-centre workers in developing countries. U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2016 annual economic report to Congress last month contained an even more startling statistic – American jobs paying less than $20 (U.S.) an hour in 2010 face an 83-per-cent median probability of automation, while Americans earning between $20 and $40 face a one-third likelihood of being replaced by a machine in the future.
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