Treasury chief downplays AI impact on jobs

Donald Trump and Steven Mnuchin
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during his White House swearing-in ceremony in February. (White House via YouTube)

Experts say the potential impact of automation and artificial intelligence could be one of the biggest economic issues of the 21st century, but Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says it’s not on his radar screen.

Mnuchin made his comments during a “News Shapers” sitdown with Axios’ Mike Allen. His observations are pointed enough, and brief enough, that they’re worth an extended quote:

Mnuchin: “In terms of artificial intelligence taking over American jobs, I think we’re like so far away from that, not even on my radar screen.”

Allen: “How far away?”

Mnuchin: “Far enough that it’s …”

Allen: “Seven more years?”

Mnuchin: “Seven more years? I think it’s 50 or 100 more years.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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