Saturday, April 25, 2015

Technology Shifts Balance of Power to...

A recent article by Zeynep Tufekci in the New York Times The Machines Are Coming provides a critical morsel in explaining the tidal wave of impact that technology has on jobs:
"But computers do not just replace humans in the workplace. They shift the balance of power even more in favor of employers. Our normal response to technological innovation that threatens jobs is to encourage workers to acquire more skills, or to trust that the nuances of the human mind or human attention will always be superior in crucial ways. But when machines of this capacity enter the equation, employers have even more leverage, and our standard response is not sufficient for the looming crisis."

The effect of jobs being automated has been clear, but understanding where the power moves to is key to dealing with the problem. The author also has a nice counter to the boilerplate response we've been hearing a lot lately:
"Optimists insist that we’ve been here before, during the Industrial Revolution, when machinery replaced manual labor, and all we need is a little more education and better skills. But that is not a sufficient answer. One historical example is no guarantee of future events, and we won’t be able to compete by trying to stay one step ahead in a losing battle."

No comments: