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  • Does technology destroy jobs?

    Discussion in 'The Leisure Lounge' started by GarethW, Dec 16, 2011.

    1. GarethW

      GarethW Chief Clicker Staff Member

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      Article in the Telegraph that asks the question: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/techno...progress-doesnt-create-jobs-it-destroys-them/

      So what do we think?

      I guess it displaces certain unskilled jobs for a while, and makes room for more industries to be created to replace them in time.

      Thoughts?

       
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    3. mhjones12

      mhjones12 Well-Known Member

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      I read an interesting article recently talking about the current jobless recovery of our economy (I wish I could find it again). The article said that in the year 1800, 90% of people worked on farms, in 1900, something like 60% worked on farms, and in 2000, only 2% worked on farms. Clearly we don't have an 88% unemployment rate, as agricultural technology reduced the number of jobs in agriculture, people moved off of the farms and found and created new jobs. The key was that it happed slowley over many years. And of course there are all of the jobs that have been created directly due to technology: computer engineering/programming, IT, cinema, car mechancs, etc. would not have existed in 1800. I'm sure one could find an example from history that suggests the opposite, so the true answer is it's probably a give-and-take. Since I have no interest in working on a farm, I'll venture to say that, to a certain extent, jobs lost to technology are a good thing since it causes us to look for increasingly better jobs.
       
    4. MSHOfficial

      MSHOfficial Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      Technology creates and destroys jobs.

      Firstly, technological advancement allow us to do long time requiring jobs very easily. And usually automation takes away the jobs of less skilled people.

      But to build automated plants we still need skilled workforce. This is what people usually miss. I would rather have hard, delicate and time consuming jobs be done by more precise technological equipment than me.

      Yes it does mean some people who were trained on a machine loose their jobs, but they can always retrain for new machines. After all how long would you need to learn skills that are not totally dependent on you.

      Example, there is this new robotic arms that do key hole surgeries in medicine right? It reduces surgical complication by far. And also reduces the amount of cutting required, minimizing the recovery time and pain for the patient.

      Before, they would require 2 doctors and 3 nurses lets say to do the job, but now maybe they need only 2 nurses and 1 doctor and the robotic arm. This also means the operation is cheaper, more affordable for the people.

      When we think about technology, we should always remember we made things more mechanical because there was a need for it. Nobody would make something that did not have a need.
       
    5. Obashb

      Obashb Member

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      The answer to this depends on what side of the fence you are sitting on. One, you are an expert in what you do and hate learning, and two, you are not so perfect with what you do, but always open to learning new stuff.
      Any new technological advancement requires the support of existing technologies, either requiring expert skill, semi-skilled and unskilled knowledge.
      On a broader view, technology changes favors the bold. If you are willing to learn, no new technology is meant to kick you out of business. All that is required is to improvise your unskilled talent to match upcoming demands brought about by new technologies.
      Venture into the unknown.
       
    6. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      I think one of the biggest issues we'll face over the next ten or twenty years is just the scale of jobs that will go away. For instance, cashier jobs (such as McDonalds, supermarkets, petrol stations etc.) are rapidly disappearing in the UK and elsewhere, driving jobs (truck, bus, taxi drivers etc.) will mostly go as self-driving cars become a reality, warehousing jobs will also go as robots get better and better.

      This is going to mean the disappearance of millions of low-skilled jobs with very little to replace them. Perhaps we're going to need some kind of Universal Basic Income (that's a whole other topic!) to replace them.

      I've seen a few people online actually getting annoyed about self-checkouts. I saw one lady comment that she shouted at the people using them, "You've taken someone's job - are you happy now?!"
      I think this kind of attitude is just ignoring the inevitable, and also I'm not sure if taking those unfulfilling, low-skilled jobs is a necessarily a bad thing. Does anyone really aspire to work on a checkout for 40 hours a week?
       
    7. MSHOfficial

      MSHOfficial Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      Nobody aspires to be a full time cashier, but people do aspire to be full time managers, or lathe machine workers or professional welders. Yes I have seen hundreds of people who just want to be specific and just learn one job and be very very talented at it.

      So if for example I was one of them I would be pretty pissed that my dream job not only doesn’t pay me anymore. But does not even exist.
       
    8. Dedeech

      Dedeech Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      MIT recently published an article where they predict machine learning and digital automation will eliminate 75 million jobs by 2025. But it suggests that the same technology could also generate some 133 million new roles by then.

      So, if we look twenty or thirty years back, we can see technology destroyed some jobs but generated more other jobs. For example, there are a lot of jobs today related to web and application development, social media marketing, and some "exotic" occupations like starlet and influencer :eek:
       
    9. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      Yeah, new jobs have always been created (even in the original days of the Luddites, where they smashed factory equipment up because it was taking their jobs), it's just the scale of job losses this time seems huge.

      I always think, "But what is going to replace them all?!" but then I would never have predicted web designers, social media marketers etc. thirty years ago!
       
    10. MSHOfficial

      MSHOfficial Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      I think a more important question would be, ‘ does technology simplify the job’, I would like to know what your thoughts are on this.

      For example there are methods which can give very accurate results for something, like finite element for example. But we still do the experimental testing after we manufacture the product. But finite element is not simple, it needs a skilled engineer to run it and get proper sensible results. Now, it would be cheaper to do non destructive testing on a simple project after manufacturing it, rather than outsourcing it and getting a FEM analysis done (sometimes not always). But FEM is more complicated than just manufacturing and testing.

      Also, before these technology existed, engineers still produced successful parts without any problems. Trial and error method was used or maybe some other methods but they did work. And they were usually simpler to implement than using computers to simulate things.

      Again these are not for majority of the parts, they are only for some parts. And FEM is not the only example.
       
    11. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      I wonder if it is cheaper though. Yes, finding a skilled FEM engineer is expensive but it is much quicker than producing a part and then actually testing it, not to mention the costs of making the actual prototypes themself. Time is money! (sorry :) )
       

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