Ever since the industrial revolution, jobs are destroyed due to automation of the work space. People are replaced by machines, which perform task faster, more precise and cheaper than a human ever could.
Economists and politicians are ever more concerned about creating jobs, yet they are also looking to increase efficiency of business operations by installing more progressive tools, which ultimately destroy jobs. This paradoxical as we work to destroy our own jobs.
People receive incentives to increasing their professional knowledge. Everyone is fighting to keep up with technology, to stay relevant to economic reality of today’s world.
People are progressively waking up to this new reality that a Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Akst dubs “Automation Anxiety”.
Technologies previously though to be available only in movies are coming to our door steps. We have drones being used by corporations and sold to general public. We have cars that drive themselves. We have artificial intelligence computers. There are even time-machines being built today. The stage is set for many sci-fi movies to become reality today. Robot apocalypses and interstellar space travel are possible within our life-time. Computers are taking over our jobs and replacing our core skill.
Still, worry not as according to Michio Kaku robots still have a very limited capacity in what they can do. They can, for example, see shapes, but they often cannot understand what these shapes are, like a cups, face, or a chair. They don’t have common sense, such as they don’t understand that water is wet. As such, computers are still excellent data crunchers that can conduct repetitive jobs with a great precision. Non-repetitive jobs, however, will always have a need for people. These are the jobs that we should strive to have.
Therefore, we need to stay relevant and we need to be prepared for the future, because it is unavoidable.
Daniel Akst, “Automation Anxiety”, Wilson Quartetly, Summer 2013.