Robots are coming for all our jobs, right? It can be hard not to feel that way given the pace of automation. But if it really is inevitable, are we doing anything to prepare for it? Enter the Automation Readiness Index; a research project put together by The Economist and funded by Swiss robotics giant ABB. It’s a global list ranking the nations most prepared to smoothly integrate “intelligent automation into their economies.” Marketplace Tech Host Molly Wood spoke with Guido Jouret, ABB’s chief digital officer, about which countries came out on top and how the U.S. is faring. Below is an edited transcript.
Guido Jouret: So, the U.S. is at No. 9. And in some ways -- a bit surprising. You might say, well boy, all these startups and all of this technology innovation that comes from the U.S. However, the U.S. itself is a little bit unusual in not having a specific program among the developed countries around either "Industry 4.0," or A.I., or robotics or anything like that. The second thing that's dragging the U.S. down is that in terms of educational policies, a lot of the U.S. educational system is geared towards getting people into higher education. And what's missing is essentially what used to be called vocational training, or apprenticeship training, or the way that we get blue collar workers the right technical skills to be able to do the jobs that need doing in the future.