The Job-Creation Case for the Rise of the Robots

Tony Dundon and Debra Howcroft make an argument that robots might not take as many human jobs as you might imagine.  First, robots might not actually take as many jobs, but secondly, the emerging robot marketplace will also CREATE new jobs, many of which we cannot even begin to predict anymore than we could have predicted the SEO Market when HTML code first became reality in 1994 and ushered in the internet as we know it today.

I’m inclined to agree with this overall assessment, but even beyond what they’ve written about here, the creation of wealth from this new technology, coupled with the reduced necessity of humans doing so much of the ‘grind’ work will, I believe, also lead to the creation of unpredictable jobs as people can now start to afford to pay others to provide services that, again, we can’t even begin to predict before it starts to happen.

Robots won’t take as many human jobs as you may think

…. if MIT academics Erik Brynjolfson and Andrew McAfee are right, we may all be rejoicing at the prospect of extended leisure time, as robotic technologies free us from the drudgery of work. Except for the fact that big business will be keeping its eye on the bottom line and will often be opting for fast and cheap alternatives.

These are not new concepts. Karl Marx argued technology would help free workers from harsh labour and lead to a “reduction to working time”. In the 1930s Bertrand Russell wrote of the benefits of “a little more idleness” and the economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that automation could enable a shorter working week of less than 15 hours.

Claims that robotics will wipe out millions of jobs, from car manufacturing to banking are all too common. But some see a change to how we work running alongside these job losses.

Instead, some envision that digital platforms will empower people to become their own boss with the freedom to choose when and where to work and how much they will earn.

And people will be encouraged to earn a living by “mixing it up” – becoming a driver one day (using the Uber or Deliveroo app) and then switching to digital “microtasks” (a small unit of work such as tagging images or translating text that takes place on a virtual assembly line) on one of the burgeoning platforms that make up the gig economy.

A future where work is replaced by leisure time has widespread appeal. But the reality is many people now work longer hours with growing job insecurity, fragmented income and labour market precariousness. If anything, technology has not liberated people from the drudgery of work as Marx, Russell and Keynes once anticipated, but has created new constraints, invading people’s social and leisure time through the digitalization of life.

While technology may displace older job skills, new work demands emerge. Most corporations seek to protect their vested interests (maximizing profit) while keeping shareholders sweet, which often means searching for cheaper labour rather than investing in expensive capital infrastructures.

Read More at Business Insider
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Paul Gordon is the publisher and editor of iState.TV. He has published and edited newspapers, poetry magazines and online weekly magazines. He is the director of Social Cognito, an SEO/Web Marketing Company. You can reach Paul at pg@istate.tv