Within 20 years, “software substitution” will dramatically reduce the demand for many types jobs, Bill Gates said Thursday at the American Enterprise Institute. It’s a gloomy prediction that he says many people, including governments, aren’t prepared for.
Make no mistake, “software substitution” is a fancy way of saying software automation — as in “bots” and whatnot. Many of the jobs that could be eliminated are lower skill occupations.
“Software substitution, whether it’s for drivers or waiters or nurses … it’s progressing,” Gates said. “Technology over time will reduce demand for jobs, particularly at the lower end of skill set. … 20 years from now, labor demand for lots of skill sets will be substantially lower. I don’t think people have that in their mental model.”