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Google economist: tech will help workers get new skills

AP

Google's chief economist says that technology will help people transition into new roles, even as it changes the nature of jobs. Hal Varian noted that technology has made it easier for people to learn crucial job skills — while on the job. Drivers, he noted, no longer need to have a perfect grasp of a city's geography; they can learn as they go because technology exists to help with navigation. Online content, such as Khan Academy, can help teach new skills.

"This cognitive assist is really a big deal because it allows for the kind of on the job training you're talking about," he said Monday at the Technology Policy Institute's annual conference.

Why it matters: Some argue that the tech industry has a responsibility to help workers who are impacted by automation, robotics and artificial intelligence. Varian told Axios that helping people pick up new skills is also good for business.