Will Automation Steal Your Job?

Technology is changing the way we connect and communicate with each other as the Internet reaches into every sphere of activity. But what kind of future are we creating?

Technology will rule the future

In a world where technology is relied upon to carry out tasks people cannot and will not do there are still many jobs it has not mastered. But automation and ever more capable forms of robots are reaching into areas of work that provide millions of jobs for millions people.

Such developments may lead to an increase in unemployment as technology becomes sufficiently advanced to operate with little or no input from employees. Similar threats to jobs have happened in the past but they have usually destroyed and created jobs in somewhat equal measure.

In the current version of disruption there is greater concern that it will not be possible to replace the number of positions that disappear. Until recently it was assumed technology would advance to a level where it would carry out dull and repetitive work, thereby freeing people to develop new skills and find more interesting and better-paid occupations.

Future expectations are that technology through greater levels of artificial intelligence and self-learning algorithms will be able to take on more complex and demanding tasks. As a result it is predicted that fewer jobs will be available as technology will be able to undertake more creative and traditionally protected roles in every industry.

The quickening pace of change

The pace of change is difficult to predict but there are concerns that greater numbers of jobs will disappear sooner than even recent forecasts highlight. There is also a growing belief that all jobs will be affected whereas in the past there was an assumption that more demanding jobs would always have to be done by humans.

But as the rate of technological improvement already exceeds our ability to create jobs it is evident we have entered a new phase of a new world. And it is a world where the future looks very different from the past and therefore difficult to predict what will happen.

The real issue is that technology is beginning to learn at a greater speed than humans and will continue to improve at an increasingly rapid rate. The challenge is to consider what it means not only for jobs but also for lives and society as the dream of a job for everyone disappears.

Because there are few limits to what technology can do there is an urgent need to understand the implications as the promise of work that provides a sense of purpose melts away. The new landscape of a world where many traditional jobs are undertaken through a mix of technologies will shape how people live, as the primacy of the system triumphs the primacy of the person.

So, technology has always developed with its own checks and balances but in tomorrow’s world it will be difficult to ensure such equilibrium.