AI employment

Superfluous Sacks of Meat in a World of Metal and Machine

20 February, 2020

Sometimes automation creates jobs and sometimes it destroys them. The point is that automation reshapes the workplace in much subtler ways than “a robot took my job.” It’s not that automation takes away the jobs, it’s that in changing the nature of jobs, it leaves people behind. This is a much bigger story — globally, hundreds of millions of workers will need to change occupations in the next few decades, and/or need new mixes of skills in order to operate in future workplaces. In the US, the UK and increasingly, here in Australia, the fears are a lot worse because there is less of a safety net: will we all be superfluous meat sacks in a world of metal and machine? Is automation a normal feature of society? Are our fears of the future misplaced? Are creativity and human skills really enough to set us apart? The answer is yes, and no. Leaders need to recognise the difference and guide their actions accordingly. This is not a picture of what will happen. Rather it is what could happen if we don’t effectively heed the warning signs. The robots are coming, but it’s always going to be left up to humans to decide what to do with them.

Read the full article here.

via Medium/Future Crunch, 13 February 2020

Image credit: Kevin Hong for Quanta Magazine