How Technology is Both Killing and Creating Jobs
By Space Coast Daily // April 19, 2020
We Millennials are the makers of this digital age. As much as this era belongs to us, the last decade has even more so strengthened this belief as we continue to grow and outnumber the older generations when it comes to technology.
Just as horses were replaced by cars, the revolutions and changes over time have allowed many things to grow, evolve, and change.
However, as much as change can be for good, it can equally be the reason behind impacting situations negatively. According to recent statistics about automation in industries, robots are expected to replace an estimated 20 million jobs by the year 2030. Where 37% of the population says that they are worried about their jobs, a very close percentage of 33 declares jobs been created in the US that didn’t even exist in the last 25 years.
Now, these figures are a visible representation of an understood debate. That is where technology might be killing jobs, and it is responsible for creating more too. Just as many people who would be losing their jobs to automation, robot, AI, and machine learning, a very close number would be creating job opportunities at an advanced level.
Technology Is Killing Jobs, and Only Technology Can Save Them
This debate has been running over since the Industrial Revolution when machines first replaced manual labor and caused disruption in the daily lives of people.
After decades now, it is safe to say that we can expect this debate to go on for a lifetime as technology continues to take over every aspect of our lives.
No matter how we look at this stark reality, one thing is for sure that technology is killing jobs. Even most pro-industrialists would agree with their analysis. But having stated all these facts, there are a bunch of questions that arise:
• Are we pleased with living in unprecedented times where our own livelihood is not secure?
• Or are we a part of this vicious cycle that has been going on since the Industrial Revolution?
• Can we retrain our workforces to counter the change?
• Or is it merely the clash of defining the uneducated enough from the educated lot?
As complex as this situation may continue to grow, the harder it will become to answer these questions. However, we must never forget that these are just the two different sides of the same coin. And it is mainly about the matter of time how the human mind begins to comprehend this.
1. Robots Kill Jobs but They Create Jobs Too
Ever since the new decade has begun, much of the current discussion happening for automation is more of the ‘robots are killing jobs’ variety.
The alarming tone of people is certainly not new. After all, most of the research conducted up until now has clearly pointed that as soon as robots are introduced in our industries, the technology would suffice to automate most of the manufacturing tasks that, as of now, are performed manually.
According to TechCrunch, a bunch of pro-automation representatives says that it is mostly just scaremongering how recent reports and even political sublime has been talking about the role of robotics in job loss. But on the other hand, it is basic arithmetic to understand that automation is driving out factory jobs, at least on a short term basis.
2. Labor Replacing Vs. Labor Restoring Technology
One of the most talked-about examples of labor replacing technology is of factory workers and the manufacturing industry. Where we would see dedicated work stations of five to six workers standing at one point to fix a part to another, now we see only one supervisor looking after the automated process to continue working smoothly.
Simply, one extended robotic arm has replaced 5-6 daily wagers. It definitely calls for an economic depletion uproar. Still, as long as technology continues to cut costs, save time, and take little to no resources compared to manual labor, nobody is going to complain.
And as predicted, if the advances in artificial intelligence and automation continue to grow massively, the potential threat of replacing the labor share is very high.
However, just as there are labor replacing technologies, there labor restoring technology too. People are not ready as acceptable towards understanding that the development of technology is facilitating newer and better tasks for which human skill is better suited.
Similar to how the invention of the computer displaced secretaries, typists, and assistants back in the day, the development brought on jobs like IT consultants, software developers, and computer technicians.
3. Short Vs. Long Term Jobs
The conventional theory stems from the example of how the technological rift caught on the agricultural part of the industry and changed it for the better.
Economists say that automation may only displace jobs for a short period, and before we know it, the void would be filled. Many companies have realized that displacing manual labor saves all resources, whether it is about time, money, or effort. Cutting costs through technology is the new way to step ahead and speed up the process of how a thing was once done. However, human skill is of tender importance. No robot or advanced algorithm can replace that.
Businesses understand the value of the skill that labor develops over the longer course of its job. It is what lies in the mind that is of utmost importance.
Therefore, where many companies argue that not all workforces would be given new skill-based roles, the times are certainly changing for the more modern, more advanced generation that takes over skill unprecedented and give services like teaching, literature review help, writing, sports a new meaning.
4. Promotional Policies
Now that it is a clear picture that a technological wave is happening, the legalities of the situation are much talked about too. The political reforms have increasingly been talking about how robotics, machine learning, AI, and overall automation would require policies that support the labor it is displacing.
And much in favor of this notion, companies have already started to adopt policies like:
• Investing in more dynamic retraining of the workforce
• Facilitating a smoother workforce alliance through wage and unemployment insurance
• Developing new tasks to bridge the gap and proving new roles already existing workers
• Staying Competitive In the Market
The doom and gloom of the situation might be inevitable, but the fact technology would cause mass unemployment is only short term. Because let’s be honest, even with or without automation and robotic, leading to job loss, companies will continue to embrace the new technology.
Even more so, no matter how bad it makes a company look in the eyes of the people for letting off the lower waged employees first, it is how they explain the importance of education and skill-based authenticity.
It is how a company stays competitive in the market. But for better or for worse, many companies find it more feasible to find a new role for their labor than to let them go completely. As much as businesses may rely on automation, the speck of doubt remains.
All in all, the broader spectrum of structural changes in the economy, such as the expansions that are bound to happen in the service sector due to technology, makes it much less likely that technology will cause a catastrophic job loss in the future.
A robot is, after all, an algorithm programmed to work, and the tasks it can do are limited as yet. But consequently, the number of tasks that human skill and mind can do is infinite.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John William is currently working as a Business Development Officer at Assignment Assistance, a platform best known for services like “do my assignment for me”. John is a self-proclaimed tech enthusiast and just loves technology. Being passionate in this field of interest, he has gained significant expertise over time.
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