May 24, 2017 - Economy

Mnuchin walks back AI statement

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he is "fully aware" artificial intelligence will impact jobs, walking back his statement at an Axios event in March that AI won't supplant human jobs for 50-100 more years, which was contrary to most predictions.

Mnuchin then: "[I]t's not even on our radar screen...50-100 more years" away. "I'm not worried at all" about robots displacing humans in the near future.

Mnuchin now: "When I made the comment on artificial intelligence — and there's different views on artificial intelligence — I was referring to kind of like R2D2 in Star Wars. Robotics are here. Self-driving cars are something that are gonna be here soon. I am fully aware of and agree that technology is changing and our workers do need to be prepared."

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