Self-Driving Truck Feud Shows Tech’s Vulnerability in Jobs Debate

Pushback on technologies that take human jobs is nothing new. Workers rallied against past inventions like weaving machines and the assembly line. But the convergence of rapidly developing AI technologies across multiple industries threatens to displace a higher percentage of workers at a more rapid pace than in the past, Vivek Wadhwa, a distinguished fellow at Carnegie Mellon University who specializes in disruptive technology and public policy, told Bloomberg BNA.

Self-driving vehicles are the most tangible case yet for AI’s potential for job loss, but it is catching the tech industry flat-footed, Wadhwa said. The introduction of self-driving vehicles could impact more than 15 million U.S. workers—or one in nine workers—to varying degrees, according to an August report from the U.S. Department of Commerce. More than 3.5 million Americans work as truck drivers, according to American Trucking Associations data.