Today’s fast paced world has raised expectations for the modern-day working man. The key characteristics sought after in a worker are efficiency, consistency, and skills. Businesses are attempting to cut back costs and increase productivity, and to do so many are leaving behind traditional labor and turning towards technology as a solution. A large amount of positions has been consumed by technology; cashiers, bank tellers, assembly line workers and even mail workers have done away with human employees, and are all automated. Although it seems technology is the obvious solution for more efficient workers, there are numerous jobs that cannot be replaced by machines. Jobs that require craftsmanship or expertise like auto collision or lawyers cannot be replaced by technology.
Society’s increased focus on time management has played a large role in the introduction of technology into the workforce. Due to regulations and rights for workers many employers must provide time off, paid leave, sick days, and even overtime. In stark contrast machines require no such amenities and only take time off to be repaired or serviced.
Technological advancement is responsible for destroying jobs in some instances but also creating them in others. “A group of researchers from Oxford University has estimated that 47 percent of jobs in the United States could be automated within the next twenty years” (Lucy Benton). Lower income people are hit harder by the transition than others because the minimum wage jobs are the first to go. Employers realize more work can be produced for less cost with the machines. Yet, on the other hand businesses who create the technology gain more profits and growth and positions for repairing and maintaining the machines begin to open. Social progress is affected because it widens the gap between the rich and the poor and it changes how businesses operate.
The social implications of widespread automation are reduction of quality products and less versatility due to programming. Technology also has a greater environmental impact requiring power for the machines to operate. The future I see for us with wide spread automation is sacrificing quality and connection in exchange for convenience and quantity.
Kevin Kelly (2012, December 24) Better Than Human: Why Robots Will — And Must — Take Our Jobs. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/2012/12/ff-robots-will-take-our-jobs/ (Links to an external site.)
Peter Newfield (2018, June 21) Current Jobs that May be Replaced by Technology. Retrieved from https://careerresumes.com/current-jobs-that-may-be-replaced-by-technology/ (Links to an external site.)
Lucy Benton (2018, April 12) Do Robots Destroy Our Jobs? Pros and Cons. Retrieved from https://careerenlightenment.com/robots-destroy-jobs-pros-cons