‘I Haven’t Seen Any Plumbing Robots:’ Mike Rowe Says AI Is Coming for Desk Jobs, Not Skilled Trades

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LUCAS NOLAN 23 May 2023

Mike Rowe, the host of popular TV shows Dirty Jobs and How America Works, has claimed that blue-collar jobs and skilled trades are safe from the growth of AI despite widespread fears of job losses due to technological advancements. According to Rowe, “I’ve been hearing for years that robots are going to wreck blue-collar work. Turns out AI is coming for your white-collar job.”

Entrepreneur reports that despite widespread concerns about job losses due to technological advancements, Mike Rowe, the host of the popular TV shows Dirty Jobs and How America Works, has said that he’s confident that blue-collar jobs are safe from the ongoing growth of artificial intelligence.

BEDFORD HEIGHTS, OH – SEPTEMBER 26: Television personality Mike Rowe speaks during a roundtable discussion with Republican U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney and business leaders at American Spring Wire September 26, 2012 in Bedford Heights, Ohio. Romney continued his two-day “Romney Plan For A Stronger Middle Class” bus tour in the state of Ohio. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Rowe recently expressed his opinion during an interview on The Big Money Show that the growth of AI in the workplace will not jeopardize blue-collar jobs. He argued that these roles require particular skill sets that are difficult to replicate digitally. “People used to say that the robots are going to destroy skilled labor. Well, not really,” Rowe said. “I haven’t seen any plumbing robots. I haven’t seen any electrician robots. And I don’t think we’re going to see any artificial intelligence in the skilled trades to that degree.”

According to a recent Goldman Sachs report, although 300 million jobs worldwide face the threat of automation, jobs requiring manual labor and outdoor work will experience “little effect” from the development of AI in those sectors. According to the report, administrative staff members are most at risk of being replaced by digital resources.

“I’ve been hearing for years that robots are going to wreck blue-collar work. Turns out AI is coming for your white-collar job,” Rowe stated during a separate appearance on America’s Newsroom.

Rowe established the mikeroweWORKS Foundation in 2008 to support skilled workers and combat the stigma associated with them. Since then, the foundation has distributed $5 million through its Work Ethic Scholarship Program, preparing candidates for sought-after, specialized jobs.

“My foundation has trained nearly 1,700 people in the skilled trades. Many of them are welders, many of those welders are making over six figures. No one believes it. No one talks about it because the stigmas are so clear that, oh, my kid winds up being a welder, it’s because he or she couldn’t cut it over here. That’s such nonsense,” Rowe said during the show.

Rowe emphasized the potential wealth that can result from learning a skill that is in demand. “For people who master a skill that’s in demand and watch their trajectory, you’re going to find they land at something that looks an awful lot like prosperity,” he added.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan

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