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Steve Wozniak says robots won’t soon take over most jobs

Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak on Monday dismissed the notion that robots will take over most human jobs and lead to mass unemployment anytime this century.

The world has experienced massive technological change over the past few decades and yet unemployment is still low, he told hundreds of attendees at RECon, a real estate expo, at the Westgate Las Vegas.

Wozniak, an electronics engineer, helped develop the first affordable personal computer in the 1970s, forever revolutionizing the way people work and study.

Technological change and job redundancy is a key issue this year at RECon as e-commerce revolutionizes the shopping industry, leading to the closure of thousands of stores and retail jobs around the U.S.

“We have been on this path for a long time,’’ he said when asked about the threat of robots. ”The (lost) jobs always get replaced with new types of jobs.’’

Wozniak said it would require way too much investment to have machines controlling every facet of our lives anytime in the 21st century.

“You would have to have every little machine direct every other machine to dig ores, manufacture things — that is too big an infrastructure to see changing in 200 years,’’ he told the audience.

Wozniak, though, does see self-driving vehicles taking over the roads in the next five to 15 years, starting first with truck deliveries.

“I just see it growing, growing and growing nationwide. I think within five years it is going to be very common to have automated trucks from across the country bringing goods and supplies from the nearest warehouse.”

The engineer also said he sees a better future for virtual reality than 3-D television because it is more applicable to gaming.

“Anything that goes into gaming has a good chance of hanging in there long enough to become commonplace within the home. The technology of the future often starts with games and then works itself all the way up to the most expensive military projects.’’

Wozniak, 66, founded Apple with Steve Jobs in 1976 in California.

Contact Todd Prince at tprince@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0386. Follow @toddprincetv on Twitter.

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