Technology and unemployment

Half of the jobs we are doing right now can be completely taken by 70% of the technology.

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Technology and unemployment


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Mishal Shaheen

Half of the jobs we are doing right now can be completely taken by 70% of the technology. 50% of current work activities can be fully automated by adapting currently demonstrated technologies.

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Zero marginal costs businesses

Zero marginal costs businesses are replacing legacy industry. For example, Kodak had a name in the photography an film making industry. However, it went bankrupt only within four years iPhone was launched.

Rise of Robots

‘Rise of Robots could see workers enjoy four day weeks’ – The Guardian

Technology will kill the 9 to 5 work week

Some people are optimists about technology. Technology will kill the 9 to 5 work week. This means, we will have more time for ourselves. However, this is only feasible in developed countries where GDP is good. When people are not dependent on daily wages, technological advancement can not play any adverse effect to their lives.

People are worried

People have been worried about machines taking jobs for a very long time. As early as 1930, experts were warning us about the new advancement of unemployment due to the advance in technology, which they termed as “unemployment due to our discovery of means of economizing the use of labor outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for labor.” In short, automating ourselves out of a paycheck.

The fear of unemployment

The fear of unemployment has become even more powerful and big in the technology age. In a recent story, a few automation upgrades ended up making 20 workers unemployed because of a small 3D-
modeling company. A recent study suggested that as many as half of current jobs (maybe even more than 50%) could be digitized, and also, the study predicted 400 million jobs worldwide will be automated and there will be no need of manpower by 2030.

Artificial Intelligence improvements

We see this continuous rise in Artificial Intelligence improvements. The picture seems simple enough. Machines get a little more advanced every day, and with each extra improvement of intelligence, there is a decline in jobs. But the reality is more complicated which is operating at a far bigger level. In most cases, we are not digitizing individual jobs but entire industries, as we meet more of our needs through software which can do lots of work in lesser time and space.

It is a surprising shift in the way society works, and it does not have to be a really bad one. We just have to look at the big picture.

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