The robots are here. And many more are coming, as artificial intelligence enables the automation of repetitive tasks in the manufacturing, transportation, distribution, and hospitality industries.
What will the impact be on Fresno?
AI Will Create Jobs, Too
It’s important to note that AI will create jobs, as well. This will help offset huge reductions in the ranks of short-haul truck drivers, food preparers, and office clerks.
States the report: “The remaining, more secure jobs include a broader array of occupations ranging from professional and technical roles with high educational requirements to low-paying personal care and domestic service work characterized by non-routine or abstract activities and social and emotional intelligence.”
Explaining Fresno’s Job Loss Exposure
Why is Fresno’s job loss exposure so high?
Two factors stand out: Much of the Fresno economy revolves around industries in which AI based automation can take root. In addition, among the Top 100 metros, Fresno ranks No. 96 in the percentage of adults with bachelor’s degrees.
Once again, we are reminded of the need to put more investment, urgency, and accountability into efforts to boost educational attainment. The forthcoming realities of AI also demand that we accelerate these initiatives — striving, as Fresno State President Joseph Castro says, to “boldly” capitalize on new technologies and brainstorm innovations.
Strategies to Leverage AI and Help Workers
This Brookings report should be mandatory reading for local leaders. All should be asking, “What can we do to prepare for the coming job losses and what can we do to help local workers, employers, and industries leverage the advantages of AI?”
Can Fresno Win This Competition?
Fresno’s movers and shakers now have to raise their games again. They must lead the way on implementing the key Brookings recommendations. Among them: create a full-employment economy, use technology to grow that economy, and promote the importance of life-long learning.
If we don’t adapt to the AI revolution, not only will Fresno fail to catch up with prosperous communities, it will fall further behind.
Understand: Neither the world nor the U.S. economy waits for anyone. It’s up to us to win the race.