People feared the impact of the automobile on horse husbandry, carriage makers, and blacksmiths. In recent history, ATMs were going to replace bank tellers, and new textile automation would replace textile workers. In both classic cases, more jobs resulted as automation increased margins, allowing the hiring of more workers, for new types of jobs.
We can see now that our fear was misplaced, but this doesn’t make the future any easier to visualize. And I think that’s the real problem.
Because every past group of people had difficulty visualizing the future, they feared it. Consider the term “horseless carriage,” which fixated on and defined what would be lost, instead of the potential economic gains from opening up national commerce.
But as we move from the 20th century information age of knowledge workers into the 21st century conceptual age where AI and automation are said to do all the jobs humans can do, there are already signs that more jobs are right around the corner.