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The Automation Myth

The Automation Myth

For decades, we have believed that automation and huge leaps in technology will take away most of our jobs and there will be widespread unemployment.

A new study shows that this belief is incorrect. Job growth and living standards have continued to rise on an average scale.

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Hours worked vs Income

The average working hours have declined only 6 percent, while income has increased at a decent rate per year.

The economy has actually grown even after automation, due to the addition of workers.

The Solow Paradox

The Solow Paradox suggests that automation and computerization aren't taking our jobs, but are adding to our overall workload, taking away our leisure time.

Usefulness of Technology

Smartphones and the internet haven't provided a sharp increase in productivity, as compared to the other revolutionary inventions like Television, Air-conditioning or Jet Planes.

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RELATED IDEAS

  • The past decade gave rise to the 'Gig' economy, spawning one-click app-based transactions.
  • Artificial Intelligence and automation are further transforming how people live and work.
  • The old-school jobs are now at risk of being obsolete or irrelevant.

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IDEAS

Two of the biggest innovations

Two of the biggest innovations of modern times are cars and airplanes. At first, every new invention looks like a toy. It takes decades for people to realise the potential of it.

  • Adolphus Greely, a brigadier general, was one of the first people outside the car industry to consider the usefulness of a "horseless carriage." He bought three cars in 1899 for the U.S. Army to experiment with. It was envisioned to be used as transportation of light artillery such as machine guns, to carry equipment, ammunition, and supplies.
  • The Wright brothers saw the prospects of their new flying machine to be used as a reconnoitering agent in a time of war. The U.S. Army purchased the first "flyer" in 1908.
Your work is likely to be less repetitive.
  • By 2022, 62% (compared to 46% today) of an average business's data processing, information search, and information transmission tasks will be performed by machines.
  • Machines will do tasks like communication, management, and decision-making to some extent.
  • Entirely new jobs will likely emerge as technology isn't self-sustaining.
  • Though technologies like automation and AI will displace 75 million jobs globally by 2022, they'll also create 133 million new ones. 
  • A McKinsey analysis estimates that 8-9% of 2030's labor supply will be in roles that don't currently exist.