An interesting and very practical point that came up in a recent Remain Relevant class: we should all avoid internalizing hyperbole surrounding the possibility of job loss due to automation.
This in itself is a challenge. We are bombarded daily with multiple, diametrically opposed opinions across dozens of topics, each vantage point supported by a bale of data. (Consider: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli, former Prime Minister of England)
Case in point –
Quote of Note:
“The “Humans Wanted: Robots Need You” report surveyed 19,000 employers in 44 countries and found 69 per cent of firms were planning to maintain the size of their workforce while 18 per cent wanted to hire more people as a result of automation. That was the highest result in three years. The report went on to say that 24 per cent of the firms that will invest in automation and digital technologies over the next two years plan to add jobs compared to 18 per cent of those who are not automating. Just 9 per cent of employers in the annual survey said automation would directly lead to job losses, while 4 per cent did not know what the impact would be.”
Well, that certainly sounds reassuring. Crisis averted, eh?
Quote of Note:
“Modern-day executives feel even greater pressure to automate because their primary obligation is delivering profits to shareholders … In a recent “60 Minutes” interview, venture capitalist and artificial intelligence expert Kai-Fu Lee predicted that technology will eliminate 40 percent of existing jobs by 2040. That’s consistent with previous predictions from financial analysts at Citigroup and researchers at consulting and accounting firm PwC.”
“Hollow out.” Wow … both vivid and grim. Certainly captured my attention. Still, this succinctly illustrates one of the key, driving factors in embracing automation. Truer words never uttered.
So, which is true? What to believe?
Both. Neither. Your call.
According to a sage philosopher of old, “There’s your side, there’s my side and then there’s the truth.” (Wait … that was Loverboy. Just goes to show you, you should take your wisdom from wherever you can find it, even if you have to drink deeply from the well of 80s pop rock.) The point: there are myriad perspectives on this issue.
Pick the story that resonates with you as truth … but then, ask yourself why you consider it so. Are you willing to embrace the challenge posed by the Age of Automation, or would you rather hope that all this blows over?
One story/option is certainly safer than the other. If you plan to adapt and evolve as if there will be a significant impact to the workforce, you have nothing to lose … you will grow and evolve and be better equipped to face oncoming changes and challenges. However, if you opt to believe the other story and get caught flat-footed due to a layoff, that will not be beneficial at all.
Ultimately, it’s your decision … but evolution is always good.
Do you want to Remain Relevant in the Age of Automation? If so, please have a look at the FastFulcrum courses that provide the substrate skills needed to do so: