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The automation myth: Robots aren't taking your jobs- and that's the problem

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.

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The automation myth: Robots aren't taking your jobs- and that's the problem

The automation myth: Robots aren't taking your jobs- and that's the problem

https://www.vox.com/2015/7/27/9038829/automation-myth

vox.com

4

Key Ideas

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.

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.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

An Uncertain Future

  • 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.

Future Proof Your Career

Future-proofing your career to stay relevant isn't about learning how to code or going back to college.

It is about having a career plan with a long-term vision, taking into account the current job-market conditions, economic factors, emerging opportunities, personal interests, and family realities.

Shrinking Life Cycle of Jobs

A life cycle of a job is shrinking rapidly, and if you're not re-inventing yourself or pivoting on time, you are rendered out of work sooner than in the past decades.

We need to check our career plan and ask ourselves what skills need to be developed to pursue future opportunities, in this shifting economy.

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What counts as a robot

When we're talking about robots taking people's jobs, we're speaking of automation.

Mechanical automation, like car assembly lines, has been around for a while.

Software autom...

How automation will affect jobs

Low-skill jobs, where 70% of the responsibilities are predictable physical and cognitive tasks, are straightforward to automate, especially as automation technology becomes cheaper than paying a human to do the same job.

  • Outside an office environment: The jobs that will be affected are things like retail employees and warehouse workers.
  • Inside an office: Jobs vulnerable to automation are data entry, filing, and document review.

Work that is difficult to automate

Complex tasks that require creativity and other forms of higher-order thinking are very difficult to automate. The reason is that you need cognitive technology like AI (artificial intelligence) and automation together. At this point, AI is still limited.

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Our culture of work

Our culture claims that work is unavoidable and natural. The idea that the world can be freed from work, wholly or in part, has been suppressed for as long as capitalism has existed.

Exploring the abolition of work

  • In 1885, socialist William Morris proposed that in the factories of the future, employees should work only four hours a day.
  • In 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that advances in technology would lead to an age of leisure where people might work 15 hours a week.
  • Since the early 2010s, these ideas have been developed further, creating a growing critique of work as an ideology, and exploring alternatives to work.
  • Post-work offers enormous promises: In a life of much less work, life would be calmer, more equal, more communal, more pleasurable, more thoughtful, more politically engaged, more fulfilled.

Work ideology

The work ideology is not natural nor very old.

  • Before the modern era, all cultures thought of work as a means to an end, not an end in itself.
  • Once the modern work ethic was established, working patterns started to shift. Between 1800 and 1900, the average working week shrank from 80 hours to 60 hours, and in the 1970s to roughly 40 hours.
  • In 1979, Bernard Lefkowitz related in his book that people who had given up their jobs reported feelings of "wholeness." During the same period, because wages were high enough, it became possible for most people to work less.
  • During the 80s, work ideology was reimposed by aggressively pro-business governments who were motivated by a desire for social control.
  • By the early 21st century, the work culture seems inescapable.

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