Be afraid, be very afraid: the robots are coming and they will destroy our livelihoods
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They are coming to an office near you: job-gobbling robots that can do your work better and more cheaply than you can. One in three jobs could be taken over by a computer or a robot in the next 20 years. Most at risk are less skilled workers such as machine operators, postmen, care workers and professional drivers. The CEO of Uber, the ride-sharing company, recently said that his goal is to replace all the firm’s drivers with autonomous cars.

That’s the view of the tech pessimists, but others would argue that all this automation anxiety is overblown. While advances in technology have always caused disruption, in the long run they have led to the creation of more jobs. To give an example, in the 19th century the industrial revolution wiped out jobs on the land as farm workers were replaced by machinery, but millions found new work in factories as they sprang up in the cities. Why should things be different with the AI revolution?

We were joined by a panel of experts to debate the motion "The robots are coming and they will destroy our livelihoods" on 2nd March 2015. Arguing for the motion were internet entrepreneur, author and digital commentator Andrew Keen and economist, commentator and consultant George Magnus.

Arguing against the motion were author and CEO of the Aspen Institute Walter Isaacson and Co-Founder of H Robotics Pippa Malmgren.

The debate was chaired by BBC World News presenter Zeinab Badawi.

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