Robots Make the Stuff. Soon, They Will Serve It, Too

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The next phase of automation, based on machine learning, artificial intelligence and advances in robotics, will affect 80% of workers through wage suppression and job loss. If automation rolls out slowly, workers who lose their jobs will have more time to adjust, retrain or retire out of the workforce. Given the quickening pace of technological adoption over the past half century, however, rapid adoption is more likely.

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Karen Harris is managing director of Bain & Company’s Macro Trends Group and is based in the firm’s New York office. Austin Kimson is director of Bain’s Macro Trends Group and is based in the Dallas office. Andrew Schwedel is a partner in the New York office.