Too many people are blaming technology for the lack of jobs. No doubt technology is killing some jobs, but it has also added many jobs to society as well. Now people are making the argument that technology is killing net jobs as a result shrinking the economy.
Our new economy is shrinking because technology leads to efficiency over growth.
This argument is wrong because it ignores the impact of war and corruption has on our economy. The economy can’t grow when trillions of dollars are lost to fighting wars and bailing out wall street. Inefficiency does not add value to society, technology never killed a job that is of great value to society. Advance technology has not replaced the highly skilled worker, craftsman, engineer or artist.
….Just when you thought you couldn’t take “journalism” lower than the work of article chop shops like Demand Media, it sounds like Narrative Science has figured out how to do a good job of having a computer generate timely news stories for sporting events, stock market news, and company announcements. Throw in self-driving cars, even Foxconn replacing factory workers with robots, automated stock trading, and you have to start thinking about the future of work….at some point, we’re going to have to start thinking about how to put people to work, rather than how to put them out of work.
Although I agree with Tim O’reilly assessment that we should be thinking about how to put people to work, in general this quote is an overreaction to technology killing jobs. Narrative Science software only has the potential to kill the simplest and routine part of journalistic work, simple reporting of available data. What Narrative Science does not do is replace the writers and journalist who break stories, do investigation and research, journalist who provide their own unique and refined delivery and writers who provide their own interesting opinions.
All the other jobs Tim mentioned are not great jobs, these are not the jobs we were told to aspire to attain as kids in school. Factory work is a boring job that pays the bills, If people had more creative options that pay as well, they would do it. Stock trading may not be boring but people in general lose money trading stocks(see: reasons why should never own stock again), If current software can do a better job at trading stock and not lose money, then we should use computers.
Foxconn may eventually replace all the factory workers with machines. But foxconn only manufacture the tech devices for companies like Apple. Apple won’t replace their engineers and designers with machines. Because Apple understands the value of human creativity and ingenuity.
Great products, according to Mr. Jobs, are triumphs of “taste.” And taste, he explains, is a byproduct of study, observation and being steeped in the culture of the past and present, of “trying to expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then bring those things into what you are doing. - NY Times quoting Steve Jobs.
The whole range of human consciousness and experiences is integral to the best work we do. We don’t fully understand every single aspect of our consciousness so we cannot compile what we don’t know into a software algorithm. Technology is only good at killing dull and repetitive jobs that requires no creativity, ingenuity or problem solving. Technology is great at killing jobs people really don’t want to do. Developed countries require their young people to study humanities and the sciences for at least 12 years in public schools. Yet the best society could offer a high school graduate is a $12 an hour job, stacking books at borders ? Did we take all those tests, did all that homework so we can work at boring and repetitive jobs at factories ? Jobs that are being killed by Technology are jobs that can be accoplished by an adult with a 5th grade education. The public school system and higher education has a problem because we have a deficient work force with limited options.
But even if we fix education, we won’t fix the job problem as long as the Government is spending trillions of dollars on war, billions on fraud and even more billions bailing out banks and wall street corruption. People are making a mistake blaming technology. We have less jobs for many reasons beyond the scope of this blog. Blaming technology is not going to solve the job problem, technology never killed a job worth keeping.