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When the robots take over, how will we be paid?

The future job market looks grim for more than just blue-collar workers. I found this out after speaking with a man who believes technology is going to impact us in ways many people haven’t imagined. What will happen if robots come for our jobs?

“In terms of the job market, it’s not very optimistic,” Martin Ford, author of “Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future,” told me. “A lot of those average-type jobs — maybe most — are going to disappear.

“That doesn’t mean the future is all bad for those people,” he added, “but that’s the challenge we face.”

Related: Initial results of UW minimum wage study: fewer hours, staff

But it’s not just the routine manufacturing jobs that will vanish with the wake of new technology and robots. White-collar jobs could disappear, too. IBM’s Watson, for example, is coming close to diagnosing cancer the same way a doctor would. What white-collar people don’t realize is that their jobs are in danger.

“Most people say, yes, a lot of jobs will be automated, but not my job,” Ford explained. “A lot of people have this sense that their job is safe and, of course, in a great majority of cases that’s simply not true.”

It’s going to become an economic problem. If machines are making products, but people are out of work, who will buy it? Is it possible we will pay people for doing nothing because they’re no longer needed?

“Some kind of guaranteed income that will allow them to survive and consume…” Ford suggested.

Listen to the entire conversation below.

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