Peter Thiel: Robots don’t threaten middle class jobs

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Billionaire Peter Thiel speaks at The Economist’s Buttonwood Gathering Tuesday in New York.

Stop blaming technology for all of society’s problems.

That’s what billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel wants.

The co-founder of PayPal and early backer of Facebook (FBTech30)dismissed claims that super smart machines pose an imminent threat to American workers.

“Middle class jobs in the U.S. are not threatened by artificially-intelligent robots. That’s like science fiction. It might happen in 100 years, maybe never,” Thiel said on Tuesday at The Economist’s Buttonwood Gathering.

The Silicon Valley entrepreneur characterized these fears about technology as shortsighted and tired, having been around for over 200 years.

“It’s a problem we would like to have…It would free people up to do far more productive things,” said Thiel.

He alluded to the dramatic increase in productivity and living standards created by innovations like the assembly line during the Second Industrial Revolution that began in the 1870s.

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Blame globalization: Today’s middle class jobs are threatened by globalization, not technology, Thiel said.

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