Speaking on automation and the future of work, Immelt tried to assuage fears that robots will lead to joblessness for humans. “This notion of the war of the robots happening in the short term, that’s more of a Silicon Valley vision than the real world,” he told the website Axios. Instead, Immelt said, robots are actually making humans richer. If robots take over menial tasks, that means humans can focus on more important ones, he argued. And since companies can only pay workers more if they’re more productive, he called it a win for humans.
For humans to stay on top, Immelt said education is key. GE and other companies have to train workers to do certain tasks better than robots. It’s “not because we’re bleeding hearts, but because we’re good at it,” he said.