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Automation mainly affects small cities

Automation mainly affects small cities
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Christian Boas

Automation mainly affects small cities

Through digitized work processes and automation technology, numerous jobs could be eliminated in the course of the next few years. This development will most likely hit smaller cities. These show a higher proportion of jobs that could then be handled by machines than large cities. To this conclusion, a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) http://web.mit.edu is based on a study that focuses primarily on the current labor market situation in the USA, but with few exceptions also in Europe or China-like trends to job losses predicted.

The two sides of the coin
“We do not want to be panic-makers, we should not be afraid that automation will lead to massive unemployment, but it can still be a kind of shock to some,” says Newy Scientist Iyad Rahwan, Accociate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences At MIT Media Lab.

Together with his team, he had looked closely at the effects of the increased use of artificial intelligence and robots on the labor market.
“The result shows that cities with less than 100,000 inhabitants are at greater risk of losing job losses,” says Rahwan.

Examples & Exceptions
In order to substantiate their thesis, the MIT researchers have carried out their analysis results using specific examples. For example, the cities on the US East Coast are better protected against job losses.

“There are many government-related jobs in Washington DC that are difficult to automate. New York, with its 8.5 million inhabitants, has many such offices for specialists,” argues Rahwan.

In Madera County, California, a rural area with a population of only 60,000, mainly cultivating wine, most of the agricultural jobs would be abandoned. Of course, there are also exceptions, the scientists note for their investigation. For example, Las Vegas is a larger city with nearly 600,000 inhabitants. The local economy is, however, very dependent on the gambling industry, and this will in turn be increasingly automated.

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