Trump's Treasury Secretary Isn't Worried About AI Stealing Jobs

Trump's Treasury Secretary Isn't Worried About AI Stealing Jobs
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was asked about artificial intelligence's impact on jobs during an Axios event Friday.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he isn't worried about American workers losing their jobs to advancements in artificial intelligence. AI has given us self-driving cars, self-checkout at the grocery store and robots on the assembly line.

"I think we're like so far away from that that — not even on my radar screen," Mnuchin told Axios founder and executive editor Mike Allen at an event Axios hosted Friday.

Mnuchin's comments came the same day PricewaterhouseCoopers released a report on automation's impact on jobs in the U.K. 

The reported stated 38 percent of U.S. jobs "could potentially be at high risk of automation by the early 2030s." 

But Mnuchin told Allen he thinks it's much further off.

"Seven more years?" Allen asked.

"Seven more years — I think it's 50 or 100 more years," Mnuchin said.

Former President Obama's 2016 economic report suggested lower-wage jobs were easier to automate. Occupations with a median hourly wage of less than $20 per hour had an 83 percent probability of facing pressure from automation.

Mnuchin said he was "optimistic" — not "worried" about robots taking human jobs. And he's not alone. Various reports over the years have claimed automation creates more jobs than it eliminates.