6/22/2016

Automation is Eating the Workforce

The workforce is changing.  Evolving.  Or crumbling, depending on how you view it.

Education has become expensive.  It doesn't guarantee work after completion.  Technology is changing so fast that schools cannot keep up.  People graduate with mountains of debt, which you can no longer write off when filing for bankruptcy.

Many jobs have been outsourced to other countries, due to lack of local talent as well as cost and tax benefits.

Many jobs no longer exist, telephone switch operator, gas pump attendants.  Many jobs are in the process of removal, bank tellers, check out tellers, etc.

Salaries have flattened out and in many cases gone down.  People are being asked to do more for less.  Including pay decreases, loss of benefits and no longer taking vacation time due to fear their jobs won't be waiting when they return.  And if they take vacation, they're checking email and taking phone calls, or working on the beach.

There is more competition at the lower wage jobs, as potential retirees hang on to make ends meet.  And many Millennial's are working 3 or 4 part time jobs with no insurance as the full time jobs are not there.

And inflation is hitting everyone's wallets as you now get less for more.  Interest on savings accounts are pathetic and rates could be going up shortly which translates to higher costs of borrowing and increased monthly payments for those with variable interest rates tied to the fed rate.

Now, let's throw in automation, which will eat our jobs.  Artificial Intelligence is finally making some good headway in speech recognition, visual recognition, can decipher events such as what is happening in pictures, who's in them, what are their emotions.  And computers can learn patterns over time, flag them with a "vector" and associate those vectors with people, places and events, as well as likes and dislikes.  Automation is fastly creeping up, and although not centient beings, we do need to stop and take notice.  As lots of money and effort is being directed towards not only AI research, but actual products intended for the consumer market.  This pace has accelerator recently but more noteworthy, are the backers and companies that have taken big interests.

Alongside that, are 3-D printing capabilities, Virtual Reality, Automated Drones and Cars and Busses and delivery Tractor Trailers.

The workforce is taking it from every angle and it's not going to slow down.  There are many benefits to automation, such as removing bias from transaction, why did he get better service than she, etc.  Transactions can become faster.  More reliable.  Better quality.  Longer lasting.  Documented audit trails for future review and analysis.  Just in time transactions instead of waiting weeks or months.  Solutions to old problems.  Cures for diseases.  New products.  Safer places.

Automation is the key to making this happen.  Yet it will impact society.  Same way we no longer use steam powered boats, or cart and buggy or horses or plows pulled by cows or transport using mules.

Things change.  The only constant in the Universe.  Wake up, yesterday's gone.  Get ready for  tomorrow.

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