Jul 15, 2019

The threat to the $100,000-a-year tech worker

Erica Pandey, author of @Work

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Much of the discussion around the future of work focuses on what is already disappearing: jobs in factories, on farms, and in restaurants.

But coming automation-fueled job losses and changes will reverberate far beyond — and eventually reach seemingly safe workers in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street.

  • And those in-demand workers may not be prepared for what's coming, as the bulk of government and company reskilling efforts are targeted toward the lower end.

What's happening: A number of companies are trying to prep their high-skilled workers for the future. Google for instance has put a third of its engineering workforce through AI training, and Amazon's new $700 million upskilling effort will target its Seattle workers as well as warehouse employees.

  • "Some of the top firms are realizing that a lot of their folks who are making six figures are in the bullseye," says Erik Brynjolfsson, director of MIT's Initiative on the Digital Economy.

The big picture: But the impact may be larger than the response thus far.

  • Per a recent report from Brookings, around 40% of the tasks done by computer programmers and web developers are susceptible to automation. For information security analysts, the number is 65%. For computer network architects, it's 52%.
  • Jobs outside of tech, like radiologists, financial analysts and lawyers, are also at risk.
  • "Everyone is going to have to learn new skills — even the most sophisticated technologists themselves," says Susan Lund of the McKinsey Global Institute.

Go deeper: The future began four decades ago

Go deeper

Teenager killed after shots fired at protesters in Detroit

Detroit police during protests on Friday night. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

A 19-year-old man was killed on Friday night after shots were fired into a crowd of demonstrators in downtown Detroit who were protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, per AP.

Details: The teenager was injured when shots were fired from an SUV about 11:30 p.m. and later died in hospital, reports MDN reports, which noted police were still looking for a suspect. Police said officers were not involved in the shooting, according to AP.

Go deeper: In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd

Police officers grapple with protesters in Atlanta. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd spread nationwide on Friday evening.

The big picture: Police responded in force in cities ranging from Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to D.C. and Denver to Louisville. In Los Angeles, police declared a stretch of downtown off limits, with Oakland issuing a similar warning.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court sides with California on coronavirus worship service rules

The Supreme Court has ruled 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court's liberal justices, to reject a challenge to California's pandemic restrictions on worship services.

Why it matters: This is a setback for those seeking to speed the reopening of houses of worship, including President Trump.