The mass commercialisation of artificial intelligence, machine learning technologies and automation, combined with outsourcing to lower income countries is about to cause massive upheavals and job losses in developed economies. That’s according to my guest in this episode of Rules Based Audio, economist and globalisation expert Professor Richard Baldwin.

Estimates range from 400 to 800 million jobs to be lost in the next decade worldwide as the technology replaces workers; and lower-wage countries use telecommuting technology to leverage their advantage in labour costs.

In “Globalisation’s Next Wave: The Jobs Apocalypse”, Baldwin warns that the next phase of globalisation is different, because of the speed and scale of the likely changes, and the expected impact on the middle classes in rich countries. Professionals who thought their jobs were safe are now directly in the firing line. There’s likely to be earth-shaking political consequences.

It sounds pretty grim for the developed economies, but Baldwin says he’s an optimist about where this will get us to in the future – if we can survive the socio-political earthquakes in the meanwhile.  

Richard Baldwin is a professor of international economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva; and the author of several books on globalisation, trade and European integration. In this episode of Rules Based Audio, we discuss his latest book, The Globotics Upheaval: Globalization, Robotics and the Future of Work.

Rules Based Audio is a half-hour, fortnightly podcast covering stories from the cracks and faultlines in the global order, hosted by Kelsey Munro and powered by the Lowy Institute. 

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