12/23/2014

Automation of Jobs in the Near Future

In the Beginning

Before you can walk, you must learn to crawl.  So once humans developed the ability to walk, they probably learned how to run next.  But at some point, to become more efficient, a new form of mobilty was necessary.

Enter horses, stage left.  Horses gave us the ability to travel long distances, carry heavy loads, pull carts and work the fields on the farm.

However, as our never ending need to progress, Henry Ford invented the automobile.  We now had the ability to travel faster, farther and with less effort.  This opened up new jobs, such as car repair, road side gas stations, triple A services, etc.  Not sure if was good or bad, but the horses were not needed so much after that.

And we have progressed with our cars, integrated into our lives, become part of our personalities.  Except we now have traffic jams in every city, high gas prices, expensive insurance.

Technological Advances

On another note, technology has allowed us to transform from a hunter gather society to an agricultural to the industrial revolution.  Until now.  The recent advances in electronic technology has spawned countess occupations, streamlined processes, connected people and places as well as the mighty internet.

More recently, advanced computers have the ability to perform tasks once held by humans.  In fact, more and more jobs will become automated.  So with technology replaces jobs, the workforce won't be as strong.  More people will be out of work or taking lesser jobs.  This is a fact of life.  However, it won't be just the labor jobs to become automated, many white collar jobs will be on the chopping blocks as well.

If you look at the next generation, how they're progressing along, you'll notice they are not learning highly advanced critical thinking.  They are being forced fed answers to tests that have no significance or impact in their ability to sustain work once they become working age.  They are in a sense, mindless robots. 

Ah, robots.  Machines to perform tasks or services.  More and more, these devices will enter the workforce, to replace regular jobs.  They don't require health insurance, you can work them 24 hours a day 7 days a week, they don't take smoke breaks or lunch breaks or weekends off or vacations or holidays.  If you don't see this picture of the future, you're not looking closely enough.

Summary

Today's youth, once they reach adulthood, have the option of attending college.  College is a great way to get a degree to get your first job.  However, because the baby boomers forgot to save for retirement, they are forced to keep their jobs.  New adults have stiff competition to enter the workforce.  And college prices have probably tripled since I went to school, so students exit school with a six figure debt load.

Those who don't attend college, who don't have any real skills, will be battling for minimum wage jobs, scratching and clawing, maybe having multiple p/t jobs.

Technology will soon take many of the lower rung jobs.  However, in my opinion, I don't think all jobs will become assimilated.  There will be a need to keep the system running.  Which will require technology people.  But who knows, that could become automated as well.

I don't think there's any way to stop the current trend of automation.  Technology is everywhere, it provides us with ways to stay connected, and eases our lives tremendously.

But if half the population is out of work, you have to wonder where this is taking us, our culture, as homo sapiens, in our evolutionary flight.

Have we peaked as a society?  Are our best days behind us?  Where is civilization heading?  Will the economy support the current population with less jobs?  How will people survive?  Where do we go from here?

My Perspective

For me, I'm not too worried.  I think critical thinkers will still have a future.  If you can problem solve and get things done, there will be a need.  It's the people in the comfortable positions, with lots of tenure and overhead costs, perhaps those people need to do some deep thinking to find out how to best navigate the coming trend of automation and lack of jobs.

Change is coming.  Are you ready?