How to Beat the Robots

from NYTs

Maybe the automation of jobs will eventually create new, better jobs. Maybe it will put us all out of work. But as we argue about this, work is changing.

Today’s jobs — white collar, blue collar or no collar — require more education and interpersonal skills than those in the past. And many of the people whose jobs have already been automated can’t find new ones. Technology leads to economic growth, but the benefits aren’t being parceled out equally. Policy makers have the challenge of helping workers share the gains.

That will take at least some government effort, just as it did when the United States moved from an agricultural economy to an industrial one, with policies like high school for all or workers’ rights.

Whether there’s political will for big changes remains to be seen, but here are some policies that economists and policy experts think could help now.

More here.

Posted in Careers, Innovation and tagged , , , .

2 Comments

  1. The United States has excelled with technology rapidly over time. People have always been concerned about technology growing too far and robots taking over the world. Today, we see jobs opening and disappearing because of technology. Simple jobs and some harder jobs that were once done by man are now carried out by machines. It cannot be forgotten that humans do control these machines. Often someone with a college degree will hold a position in charge of machines. However, it is scary to think if you are not in school with some basis of technology, will your job be taken over? We can not run away from technology. It will not go away. People must adapt to the new technology.
    People have to embrace the change in today’s world. Technology benefits a ton of people. It allows us to instantly communicate, provides better medical help, improves efficiency, education, and helps in many more ways. Yes, some jobs are nonexistent because of technology, but there is a bunch of job openings to observe the data, fix issues, and how to keep improving technology. Education needs to start focusing on technology more. That will help the United States to continue grow in the technological field and give students more opportunities for jobs.
    No one is really sure what the future holds. People have always adapted through change though. I don’t think technology will destroy society like some people. Technology will simply just be different. I don’t see robots taking over the world. There is always a need for humans to do something that a robot could not. Technology will only enhance humans in the future.

  2. I found this article very interesting about the future of technology and how to beat the robots. Living in today’s Information Age, there are concerns about an economy based on digital computing technologies and how it will affect the future of employment and incomes. We have learned to adapt to the digital world because of the advantages that it offers to our everyday lives. From being able to connect with anyone across the globe at any time to having any sort of information at your fingertips, we have had a realization that we could use technology to transform the business world, and so we did. The network has made our work day more comforting than ever before. Technologies have enabled us to work outside of the office. Being able to be on the move and have access to work through the cloud at any place at any time has changed work as we once knew it. Technology is now embedded in the way a company runs its daily operations and the reliance on technology is going to keep growing because we are changing the workplace in response to its advances. As technology continues to improve productivity and efficiency in the workplace, jobs are going to continuously alter due to the existence of new technologies. Technology has not turned against us, but rather challenged us to develop new capabilities. As technology remains to progress at a growing rate we will keep trying to seize opportunity with it. Work and wages will not be doomed, but will be adapted to serve a digital economy.

    To serve this digital economy, we, as a society need to make sure that education meets up with the progression of technology. Education is about learning how to solve complex problems and being able to work together with others in the workforce and that is what technology brings to the classroom. School systems need to make technology a bigger part of their curriculum for many reasons. For example, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) was created to hold schools accountable for how students learned and achieved. It supported standards-based education reform to set high standards and setting goals to improve individual outcomes in education. The law requires states to assess students in basic skills. These assessments increased accountability, quality of education and improved student performance. If school systems were required to test student’s abilities on technology use taught in the classroom this could improve training needed for the future generations of workers. This early introduction to the use of technology would to contribute and help build onto the training and knowledge needed to acquire the skills of a future worker in an extremely high tech world.

    Since technology creates jobs that demand new skills, advances in technology have influenced the development of new services and industries that were not existent prior. The travel industry before the introduction of technology was limited to travel agents like AAA (triple A) but now, there is no need for a middle man thanks to new services created that are technology based. Websites like Expedia, TripAdvisor, Kayak, Airbnb.. etc. use their services to allow you to be your own travel agent. This type of service has also helped the hotel industry in renting out their own accommodations. While travel agent Thomas Cook lost 157.1 million in Q1 of 2012, the number of Airbnb guests had reached 4 million in 2013. Another industry that has been changed into a new service is publishing. Physical book sales are plunging due to the soaring popularity of e-readers like Amazon Kindle and online platforms of magazines and newspapers. Traditional publishers of books, magazines and newspapers have had to find new skills in order to avoid becoming extinct. While the reading network platforms have enabled the online services of MailOnline, The New York Times, Nook, etc.. libraries and book stores like Borders continue to close. In the UK since 2011 300 libraries have been shut down and sites like MailOnline have been reaching millions of visitors a day. Barnes and Noble is a company that realized this altering in publishing and made an adaptation to use NOOK, which is very similar to Amazon Kindle.

    Even though these industries have evolved into different services, as some jobs have been eliminated, many more have been created. But as these changes continue to occur, we need take advantage of the jobs that will need to be filled instead of jobs that are disappearing. Jobs that will need to be harnessed still have amazing pay and not enough people utilizing them. For instance, software developers, nurse practitioners, market research analysts, financial analysts are going to be of high demand in the future and will have a high salary while jobs consisting of change such as publishers, manufacturing workers, and door-to-door sales people will not. If it is acknowledged that the economy is transitioning into a digital economy, it will be more sensible for people to take the incentive to make themselves better off and to adapt.

    The rise of technology has can result in more jobs with higher income. Any time in history that we’ve had automation come to surface, people do not all of the sudden stop being creative and wanting to do new interesting things. To maintain todays GDP, the workforce will need to be more productive than ever and they will also need to improve at a faster rate than in the past and furthering automation technology could be the solution to this problem. Right now, the network accounts for 3.4% of overall GDP in some economies and this is mostly due to commercial transactions conducted electronically over the internet enabled by these transformed and new industries. We will always have jobs that are high paying that cannot be done by robots and I believe that the economy will recover from this short term adjustment period to be more productive than ever.

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