Most Americans Think Robots Won't Be Taking Their Jobs For 10 More Years At Least But After That Who Knows

Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox
Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox

I remember watching movies like I, Robot, Bicentennial Man, The Matrix and, later on, Logan and being struck by how many human jobs were replaced by robots in the imagined future. It’s definitely projected to happen within the coming decades, according to some. But a new poll shows that Americans aren’t terribly concerned about the big robot takeover just yet.


Polling 1,038 adults in August, who were designed to be representative of the U.S. population, the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 57 percent of Americans believe that their jobs are safe from automation for at least the next 10 years. Fifty-six percent think that it could actually make their jobs easier or more efficient in the coming years.

Yet, the poll also notes that there is a “wide gap” in responses between people with different education levels:

Americans without college degrees are twice as likely as those with degrees to say it’s very likely automation will cost them or someone in their household a job. That is in line with studies that have found that lower-skilled work is more likely to be automated.

And though people currently prefer to talk to an actual person instead of a machine when making a purchase, most of the people polled think that new technology will make shopping easier and more convenient, thus resulting in a drastic loss of retails jobs.

You can read the rest of the poll’s results here.

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.



A robot is a tool. Be smarter than the tool. If a robot comes that can do your job, learn how to use it, so that it will be your tool and will let you do a better job.

Look, less than 100 years ago a majority of the population was involved in some aspect of food production. Today, it is handled by less that 2%. The increase in productivity was almost entirely due to machines that we don’t (but could) call robots. While the transition was very disruptive, the net result is largely positive.

While there are reasons to be cautious, robots need not bring doom.

But you know, they might.