Great post I read today that got me considering, not the right or wrong of asking the question that is a debate I am still having, rather the reality of change. In particular, the fact of change as it directly relates to the concept of technology replacing jobs.
From an initial read, I want to be very careful not to upset people. The reality is this, technology has, continues to and will continue to replace jobs. I don’t want people to freak out and get scared, though. Let’s take a look at what jobs Technology will replace.
First off, what do humans do best? It is not, a promise repetitive tasks. As a school teacher, I used to watch kids struggle with the state test. Why? Well for some reasons but one of the realities of the state educational tests is that they are boring! When humans are bored, what is outside the windows, becomes a lot more interesting.
Technology has replaced jobs. Many of the jobs that have been replaced by technology to date are less full replacements and more improvement. I know as an early professional in the world of IT deployments we strove for automation. The more you got, the less you failed. The more standardized the environment of tomorrow, the less likely you were to fail the next time you came through with an upgrade.
What do human’s do best, we adapt. You don’t often see snakes running around the Antarctic in jackets. As a whole, snakes tend to live in more temperate climates. They don’t wear clothes. Humans do, and now you can get jackets that are heated, gloves that are heated and be outside when it is freezing. I used to walk outside ten months of the year and walk on a treadmill two months of the year. Now, I walk outside 12 months of the year. In part, because we moved a little South of where we used to be and in part because with heated gloves and heated clothes I don’t get as cold.
Technology and the use of technology are what makes it easier to be outside when it is freezing. You can get things for your shoes that give you greater traction. Heated Jackets, heated gloves, and heated socks help you stay outside a lot longer. By the way for people that have to work outside, the boon that is technology, well just someone that works outside in the winter. Say the person that rolls by your house after the snowfall and makes sure you can drive on the cleared streets.
The first reality is technology is making some jobs easier. It will begin to replace other jobs. But this is a chance for the world to realize we need to do something. We, as a race (human), need to change something we’ve done for far too long. It is time to educate people. They say, no matter who they are, that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. You can, plus with years of experience in how things are supposed to work you gain insight into the new system, you are building. It isn’t just that we can make it easier for people to use things.
There are things that technology will not replace in the near term. There are things we wish to augment the human experience making it easier to get the job done. People who work outside and people that risk their lives to make our lives safer need more and more safety equipment. Humans are adaptable, but we are also fragile.
The question today is will technology replace some jobs. The answer is yet it will. Over the next 10-15 years many of the jobs people are losing today will be gone. It is time to being the reeducation” of people for the next step in their lives. We need to make sure that we don’t artificially keep jobs going that should be replaced. At the same time, you don’t ever replace a human being. So, we need a fulcrum that balances employment and people. If you can continue to do what you do, that is awesome! If you need to change, then let’s make sure you have the skills you need!
Images today from my cellular phone collection! (by playing picture roulette. You simply select the folder and spin the mouse dial. Then take the picture in the middle of the screen)!