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The End Of Meaningless Jobs

Will automation spell the end of society or the start of something better?

23Apr

When we think about the jobs market 100 years ago it is very different to the work done today.

Where we used to have a vast number of people working in manual labour, in factories or in farms, today this makes up less that 10% of the population in developed countries. In fact the majority of people have jobs that simply would not have existed 30 years ago. The internet and the rise in computational power and decrease in computational price, has meant that every human being now has the chance to be the most knowledgeable person in the world.

Much of this has come down to automation, the fact that computers do not need to be made by people manually placing chips onto a motherboard or soldering circuits together means that the pricing of this technology has become so cheap that almost anybody in the world can afford it. Somebody with an iPhone in their pocket essentially has trillions of dollars in technology in their pocket, but they can get it for practically nothing.

This is simply not factored in when we consider the work places of the future.

When people strike about the amount of jobs now being automated, they are not considering the future implications, the fact that somebody has their job automated, will mean they are free to pursue what they actually want to do.

Looking at the issue in this way is controversial, after all the reason that people work is for money. Money is then needed to purchase the things vital for them to survive. However, we have seen with automation that the very process that may have lost them their jobs in the first place will be the same process that will mean that the impact is not as huge, as the prices of almost everything can be decreased through this use.

We are also seeing new innovations constantly that allow for new industries to be built around them. There are now silicon valleys throughout the world that are creating new ideas all the time around ideas that people have a genuine passion for.

Most people are unlikely to start their own companies, but then most are also unlikely to have a genuine passion for their work. These two combinations means that as new industries are created all the time, the chances of them being able to find a role that incorporates their passion will be higher than ever.

The key to the success of this is going to be education, which will allow for people to make the most of these changes in future.

This seems obvious, but ultimately is something that most are scared of. When many think of education, it is associated with learning everything you need to know in a strict setting. The reality is quite different, think about the way that most have learnt to use computers, it has not been through strict formal courses, but instead through using them.

The adoption of computers across the world has led to the biggest education system in itself, as people can now access practically any piece of information ever created, making them more informed than anybody else in history. The same will happen in the future with new technologies and new industries.

At present it is impossible to guess what these industries, technologies or educational needs will be, but if history is an indicator of what we should expect, we should expect the unexpected.

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