As tasks wane, skills rise

Brooks Rainwater
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Brooks Rainwater is the director of the Center for City Solutions and Applied Research at the National League of Cities.

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Camille J. Moore
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Camille J. Moore is a former Fellow with the Center for City Solutions and currently an Energy Fellow with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

It’s a common scene: A truck driver pulls up to a highway truck stop for fuel and lunch. She orders a burger and fries from the waiter standing at the counter. Then, she makes her way to the store next door to pick up a coffee to go.

In a matter of years, these kinds of simple, daily interactions will likely become a thing of the past as the tasks of truck drivers, waiters and clerks are increasingly done by machines.

Even if measurement techniques vary, the numbers don’t lie: Ultimately, large swaths of people will be displaced by machines.

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