Relax, Full-time Jobs Are Not Going To Extinct Anytime Soon

As much as we are thankful for technology and the benefits it brings in our daily lives, there lingers a perpetual fear as well. Automation brought with it many advantages and transformed the way transactions are done and businesses are being conducted. But there exist several studies warning us against the dangers of automation and clearly stating that it’s going to make full-time jobs extinct in the near future. A report by McKinsey and Co claims that in 60% of the jobs, 30% of the tasks would get automated. It doesn’t matter which field of work you are in, your job is in danger due to robots and technology. Are you a driver working for ride-hailing companies like Lyft and Uber? The self-driving cars are coming for your job. Do you work in an ad agency? An ad agency recently got its first AI creative director, which means your job is potentially in danger. If you are in the logistics or delivery jobs, you already know that the drones are being tested on a global basis by the top companies of the world as a substitute for delivery men. And why not? The computers are smarter, takes less time to do the same amount of work and more cost-effective than us humans. So, are full-time jobs really going extinct? The answer is not anytime soon. The fear that’s prevalent in the minds of people these days regarding automation is false. Technology is not going to make your jobs extinct, rather, it is going to redefine them. Yes, some jobs will be lost but more and better jobs will be created in its place instead. The fear regarding automation is a concept similar to what’s popularly known as the Luddite Fallacy. Several groups of textile workers during the Industrial Revolution destroyed the weaving machineries because they feared their jobs were in danger. However, the truth was that these machineries only helped these workers be more productive and saved the necessary time. The Luddites just misconstrued the whole situation and the impact these machineries were going to have on their jobs. How AI will impact full-time employment? Many believe that the growth of AI will lead to several unemployed humans who wouldn’t be able to compete with more efficient and effective computers. But technology development is not a recent phenomenon which the world is facing. It has been growing continuously for the last 250 years and there has been only growth in jobs, no reduction. In fact, since the last 60 years, the only job that automation has totally eliminated is that of the elevator operators. Thanks to technology, dozens of other jobs have emerged which were unheard of a decade ago, such as online marketers, data scientists, software engineers, and web designers. But the widespread fears do have a grain of truth to it. Technology is making few jobs obsolete, but these jobs are mostly concerned with repetitive, redundant tasks. According to a recent paper by Tom Mitchell of Carnegie Mellon University and Daniel Rock and Erik Brynjolfsson of MIT, the debate regarding AI which people are having is wrong. Instead of focusing on how full-time jobs will be lost due to AI, we need to emphasize “the redesign of jobs and re-engineering of business processes”. There is no doubt that AI will soon rule every task of businesses that companies conduct, irrespective of the size and the field of work. Instead of resisting technology, we should work with it and try to capitalize on its capabilities so as to gain more value for the work we are doing. The report referred earlier by us of Mckinsey and Co sums up our notion perfectly “Technology destroys jobs, but not work”, researchers say in it and we can’t agree more. What can be done to save jobs? What most of us do at our respective workplace is take information, process it and then pass it onto someone else for further use. Machines these days are capable of doing the same in a faster and better way, and Moore’s law taught us that they are getting better at it with time. Technological unemployment is not some made-up word by sci-fi authors. It is very much possible and we should be proactive regarding how to deal with it, if and when that happens. We definitely don’t want to live in a dystopian world with mass unemployment and prevalent poverty. That’s why we need to ask ourselves whether our job is such which could be done by a robot in a better way. Creative jobs wouldn’t be affected as technology can’t replace creativity. Automation is no joke, in fact, 80% of the organizations are currently investing in AI and others are soon going to follow suit. It’s only wise that we start working in harmony with computers, not against them. The first thing you can do is to find out just how much your present full-time job is at risk of being automated. There are online tests using which you can check that level and those are fairly accurate. The next step would be to strengthen your soft skills as well as your job skills so that it gets hard for the upper management to replace you. There are several ways by which you can do that. There are online as well as offline seminars and training classes you might want to take to enhance your numerous skill sets. Showing to the management that you are willing to get a leg up and improve in the job allocated to you will provide you an upper hand against those employees who are content with doing the same repetitive work every day. Conclusion No one can claim that we are better without the technology and its advancements. It has made our lives simpler, raised our wage rates and created more jobs. Instead of pondering if automation will replace our jobs, we should discuss whether people would be able to do the jobs that are more complicated than the ones they currently have.