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Google's Eric Schmidt: Startups can save humans from total computer domination

Google chairman Eric Schmidt has warned that there will be a major, "defining" jobs problem over the next two to three decades, which will be like a second Industrial Revolution.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum this week, the former Google leader said that more and more middle class workers will lose their jobs, due to constant and rapid innovation.

He also believes that these unfortunate workers might not possess the requisite skills to be re-hired.

However, Schmidt also highlighted the fact that startups could have a massive role to play in reversing this trend. Still, in order for this to become a reality, Schmidt said entrepreneurs need more support.

Last year, London's Tech City topped the charts for new business generation in the UK (opens in new tab), launching over 15,000 brand new businesses in the process.

"It's clear to me that we can get full employment, but wages are still depressed," Schmidt said. "As more routine tasks are automated, this will lead to more part-time work in caring and creative industries. The classic 9-5 job will be redefined.

"It's a race between computers and people – and people need to win," Schmidt added, before pushing for even greater industry-wide innovation.

Last week, it was reported that a supercomputer managed to calculate a second of human brain activity within 40 minutes (opens in new tab).

Are computers really wiping out humans? (opens in new tab)

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews, Newsweek, and ITProPortal.