Mike Rowe thinks “dirty” jobs are safe from the rise of artificial intelligence, as people begin to fear the latest advancements in technology will replace human workers.
The host of “Dirty Jobs” and “How America Works” said there’s no getting away from the growth of AI in the workplace during an appearance on “The Big Money Show.” However, he said, blue-collar workers have the luxury of relying on skill sets that are difficult to digitally replicate.
“People used to say that the robots are going to destroy skilled labor. Well, not really,” he said at the time. “I haven’t seen any plumbing robots. I haven’t seen any electrician robots. And I don’t think we’re going to see any artificial intelligence in the skilled trades to that degree. You can’t stop it. All you can do is decide to freak out completely or not.”
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Rowe’s sentiments echo the findings of a March Goldman Sachs report, which predicts that 300 million jobs worldwide are at risk of being replaced by automation. The report found that administrative workers have the highest risk of being replaced by digital resources, but jobs that require manual labor and outdoor tasks will feel “little effect” by AI growth in those industries.
“I’ve been hearing for years that robots are going to wreck blue-collar work. Turns out AI is coming for your white-collar job,” Rowe said during a separate appearance on “America’s Newsroom.”
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Rowe started the mikeroweWORKS Foundation to advocate for skilled laborers and break the stigma around skilled workers in 2008 and has since given away $5 million through his Work Ethic Scholarship Program that trains people for in-demand, skilled jobs.
“My foundation has trained nearly 1700 people in the skilled trades. Many of them are welders, many of those welders are making over six figures. No one believes it. No one talks about it because the stigmas are so clear that, oh, my kid winds up being a welder, it’s because he or she couldn’t cut it over here. That’s such nonsense,” he said on the show.
“For people who master a skill that’s in demand and watch their trajectory, you’re going to find they land at something that looks an awful lot like prosperity,” he added.