James E. Bessen (Boston University), How Computer Automation Affects Occupations: Technology, Jobs, and Skills:
This paper investigates basic relationships between technology and occupations. Building a general occupational model, I look at detailed occupations since 1980 to explore whether computers are related to job losses or other sources of wage inequality. Occupations that use computers grow faster, not slower. This is true even for highly routine and mid-wage occupations. Estimates reject computers as a source of significant net technological unemployment or job polarization. But computerized occupations substitute for other occupations, shifting employment and requiring new skills. Because new skills are costly to learn, computer use is associated with substantially greater within-occupation wage inequality.
New York Times: Automation Is a Job Engine, New Research Says, by Steve Lohr:
The fear that technology is poised to kill jobs in unprecedented numbers is widely prevelent these days. Nothing is likely to ease that anxiety much, but a new research paper might prompt some second thoughts.
Using government data, James Bessen, a researcher and lecturer at the Boston University School of Law, examined the impact of computer automation on 317 occupations from 1980 through 2013. His conclusion, in a sentence, was: “Employment grows significantly faster in occupations that use computers more.” ... “The idea that automation kills jobs isn’t true historically, and if you look at the last 30 years, it’s not true then either,” he said in an interview. “Right now, the best thing that can happen to you is to get some automation to do your job better.” ...
His comment echoes the main finding of a recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute, which concluded that many work tasks within jobs can be automated in the next three to five years. But the impact, according to the McKinsey report, will be to alter jobs rather than eliminate them.
Frank Pasquale (Maryland), Complicating the Narrative of Legal Automation:
Experts with a bit more historical perspective differ on the real likelihood of pervasive legal automation. Some put the risk to lawyers at under 4%. Even the highly cited study by Carl Frey and Michael Osborne (The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Automation) placed attorneys in the “low risk” category when it comes to replacement by software and robots. They suggest paralegals are in much more danger.
But empirical research by economist James Bessen has complicated even that assumption:“Since the late 1990s, electronic document discovery software for legal proceedings has grown into a billion dollar business doing work done by paralegals, but the number of paralegals has grown robustly.” Like MIT’s David Autor, Bessen calls automation a job creator, not a job destroyer. “The idea that automation kills jobs isn’t true historically,” Steve Lohr reports, and is still dubious. The real question is whether we reinforce policies designed to promote software and robotization that complements current workers’ skills, or slip into a regime of deskilling and substitution.
Jobs & Hire, Man Vs. Machines: New Studies Show That Technology & Robots Will Not Take Away Jobs From Humans But Will Generate More Work:
[T]hough it may appear that human jobs are becoming vulnerable to technology, one researcher discovered that rather than causing people to go jobless, the rise of the machines is actually generating more jobs that can never be imagined. ...
For people who still think that robots and automated machines will make them jobless, think about this, the machines work effectively and they do a good job in particular tasks they were programmed to do. However, there are occupations that they can't replace no matter what. Independent listed few jobs that humans can do better than even the most sophisticated robots, and here are three examples: ...
This job needs a lot of thinking. Finding faults and coming up with arguments to defend a client is simply impossible for any machines or human-like robots to do.