“Two hundred years ago, 70 percent of American workers lived on the farm. Today automation has eliminated all but 1 percent of their jobs, replacing them (and their work animals) with machines.” The rapid nature of technological progress is changing the ways in which we work and live and will continue to do so, transforming how we communicate, how we function, and how we spend our leisure time. But with these major changes comes concern about how those displaced by technology will now survive. Whether one is for or against automation, its affects on our changing social climate is cause for much debate.
After reading the module notes, the article “Better Than Human: Why Robots Will — And Must — Take Our Jobs” and the TED Talk “What will future jobs look like?” in the supplemental materials, respond to the following:
- List a few modern day examples of jobs that have been rendered obsolete or outright replaced by
- Technological change. What jobs can you think of that are unlikely to be replaced by technology?
- What role has our increased emphasis on time measurement played in this dilemma?
- Is technological advancement destroying jobs and decreasing the amount of available work, or is it just transforming the nature of work? Is this a good or bad thing for social progress?
- What kind of social implications will widespread automation have on the way we live? What kind of future do you see for us?
Support your position using appropriate sources that are properly cited.