There are both critics and supporters of the technological revolution. Looking at the work economy today and a few decades ago, it’s difficult to predict how it will appear in 2050. However, practically every area of labor, from making bread and butter to educating children, will be affected by machine learning and artificial intelligence. Yet, there are still opposing viewpoints on the nature of change and its impending arrival. Thus, the answer to the question of whether or not technology is creating unemployment needs a background study.
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It’s vital because AI is increasingly outperforming humans in cognitive tasks and is gaining emotional abilities. AI is powered by breakthroughs in the medical sciences and social sciences, not merely in terms of making computers faster and smarter. In this article, we will discuss if technology is creating unemployment and, if so, what sort of unemployment we might expect. If you want to know the answers to these questions, keep reading.
Technology and Job Market
By offering better tools, machines, and cheaper raw materials, early technology tended to boost the productivity of manual employees. Later, industries transitioned to electric power, which permitted batch or continuous manufacturing processes, as well as production lines. Factory labor became more productive, in charge of a greater amount of resources and production. Many manual occupations were automated in the meanwhile.
Employees are sometimes supplemented by technology, which increases their capacity to accomplish particular activities, and they are occasionally replaced by technology, which automates parts or all of their work. As a result, we might conclude that Yes, technology does cause a certain sort of unemployment for people whose talents become less in demand as a result of AI replacement. This sort of unemployment is known as structural unemployment, and it occurs when available talents in the labor market become less in demand.
Industries at Risk of Structural Unemployment
Now that we know what types of unemployment are caused by technology, let’s look at some of the industries that are more vulnerable to technological replacement.
Transport and Logistics
Existing forms of transportation appear to be influenced by new technologies. The transportation structure as a whole is changing.
Adopting and constructing the results of scientific and technical research on top of current technologies in the transportation industry will become a mature process in all future industries. The goal of automotive digital technology has been to improve vehicle operations. Artificial intelligence would allow for more effective use of air and road space, as well as time savings and traffic jam prevention. This would result in job losses for drivers, manufacturers, traffic control officials, and other experts since AI would surpass them in their duties.
Service businesses are progressively incorporating robots to frontline service contacts, spurred primarily by the need to innovate. The Amazon cashier-free stores are a famous example that we can observe today. These retailers’ ultimate objective is to reduce labor expenses and eliminate needless human interaction from the actual shopping experience. The first Go convenience store eliminated the checkout procedure and instead relies on sensors to detect what things are taken from shelves.
To execute their tasks, customer service professionals don’t require a lot of social or emotional intelligence. Many companies are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to reply to commonly asked questions and customer care concerns.
Customers will have a better experience with AI since it will be able to reduce wait times, provide product suggestions, and handle problems and complaints in a more customized manner. This will become more widespread as technology improves its ability to understand human emotions. Chatbots are becoming more than just a part of customer support and this is only a part of the change that can be brought about by technology.
When the wars become digital, there won’t be a need for strong muscular soldiers but intelligent computer experts. Automated systems and robots might soon represent a quarter of the British army by 2030, according to the leader of the UK military. Armed forces may be able to make better and faster choices if AI is used to identify objects or uncover patterns in a battlespace.
Furthermore, AI would allow military systems such as weaponry, sensors, biometrics, and information systems to be more integrated and automated.Artificial intelligence might help armed forces improve their multi-layer skills in dealing with a variety of unknown battle circumstances. Artificial intelligence allows quick decision-making skills in both changing and scarce information environments.
Yes, technology is creating structural unemployment, we may claim. Losing control of our life, on the other hand, is a considerably more terrifying prospect. Leaving aside the threat of widespread unemployment, we should be more concerned about the transfer in power from humans to algorithms, which threatens to shatter any residual trust in the liberal narrative and pave the path for the establishment of digital tyranny. However, if we can combine a universal economic safety net with supportive relationships and meaningful endeavors, losing our employment to AI might be a blessing in disguise. Only time will tell how humans will react to their robotic equivalents.