The rapid development of technology in recent decades, paired with automatization and robotization, has rendered plenty of jobs obsolete. The fear that humans will soon become unnecessary in many industries is one that often reverberates in many countries where economies depend on manufacturing and trade. While the obsolescence of many types of jobs is perhaps most visible in manufacturing, retail, agriculture, and transportation – are jobs really disappearing overall in these branches of business or are they just changing?
Not a day goes that people aren’t being replaced by advanced machines or the latest and most sophisticated software. It’s 2017 and many blue-collar workers out there are in genuine fear that modern technologies will come to take their livelihoods and work away in one fell swoop. But nothing quite that black and white. The grey areas, in this case, is the rate at which technology is replacing jobs, all in comparison to the various jobs being created thanks to technology.
Despite the fact that many jobs are becoming a part of history, the same technological advances that many people fear are in fact creating countless new jobs. In fact, there’s new hope on the horizon.
Technology – A blessing in disguise
The first computer, and later the internet, have changed the world as we know it. These changes have since developed drasticly and will continue to do so, whether the business world likes it or not. Going out of one’s comfort zone can be terrifying, and that’s how businesses feel on their first encounter with new technologies and systems, from robots and AI to automation and self driving cars. This is a normal process that we all have to go through.
Rather than rejecting all of the possibilities that technology and the latest software and equipment entail, people eventually begin to embrace them. Companies and developers alike, and sometimes together, are constantly working on crafting software that solves multiple issues, like saving time, increasing efficiency, bettering oversight, creating safer work environments, and increasing overall performance of individuals, teams, and entire corporate systems.
After all, robots were and are still being created for the very purpose of doing some of the hardest, most monotonous, and repetitive jobs, while various kinds of software provide tremendous help to people’s everyday life and work. The key to unlocking and understanding that mentioned grey area is in using technology in ways that benefit mankind, on all levels.
What does it all mean for jobs?
If we take manufacturing as an example, there will always be repetitive tasks that can be automated. However, the fine details and that special human touch is what gives products their uniqueness and makes them sellable in the first place. From product design to final packaging and distribution, some things simply can’t and won’t happen without humans. Just identifying a new consumer need that was never there before and then creating a product or service to fulfill that need is still far and beyond any AI capabilities, no matter how many times a computer beats us at chess.
And then there’s the one thing many seem to forget when they see machines and software replacing people – these things need maintenance and development. There is an ever growing number of machines and enterprise software in the world – and they’re all made by humans. Then there are further development, maintenance, changes and upgrades to think about.
And here we have the less grey and more silver lining of it all. Technology is visibly and daily creating new jobs, even in manufacturing, which is one of the fastest growing industries globally today. Of course, we can eventually expect the maintenance to also be automated someday. In fact, modern mobile maintenance software and systems are already becoming the standard in manufacturing and distribution, as well as in the healthcare industry. But this all brings us back full circle to the people who create the software that automates the maintenance tasks involved in automated manufacturing systems. If this begins to sound confusing at any point, just think – more jobs all around.
Tracking and Maintenance
Admittedly, technology has made modern life significantly easier and safer in a lot of ways. But it’s also made our lives a whole lot noisier and busier. People now process huge amounts of information on a daily basis. In fact, no human could process in a lifetime the amount of information uploaded to the internet in one day. Yet we want to put that information to good use. Software and machines, however, can process much of this information for us. This helps us sift through the unnecessary and bringing us the results we want and need at any given time.
When it comes to tedious number crunching and tracking tracking tasks that any business must perform on a regular basis, we gladly hand those over to software and machines. Human brains were built for a much bigger kind of thinking process. The jobs of the future will require much more humanity and much less repetitive work.