According to a survey by Bain and Company, about 800 executives around the globe estimated that the number of companies looking to scale up automation technologies will double in about two years - and with COVID 19, this timeline will almost certainly accelerate.

The term automation was coined in the automobile industry about 1946 to describe the increased use of automatic devices and controls in mechanized production lines. In the Digital Age, automation can involve physical robots or software that emulates the actions of a human worker.

The rise of AI and robotics threaten to change both low-skilled and high-skilled jobs on a fundamental level. Estimation of job loss varies wildly, from 10% to 47%, but even the most conservative calculations threaten millions of American workers.

"There are very serious displacement problems that we should be worried about," says Michael Lotito, co-chair of the Workplace Policy Institute at Littler. "If we don't embrace these issues now, there are opportunities here for social unrest."

On the other hand, better technology could also create as many as 50 million new jobs by 2030, but millions of workers will need to change occupations or improve their skills to be a part of the new economy.