Automation and loss of jobs

Employees, products dedicated to pass through the scanner, which are disappearing in commercial establishments, replaced by self-check stations; news editors replaced by programs that are responsible for transforming data into something like an article … From the time of the Industrial revolution, stories related to fear, insecurity before the arrival of the machines, automation of society, have monopolized magazine covers, science fiction novels and many movies. One of the best known in the world of economics, predictions was that Keynes made in 1933, when he predicted that there would come a time when technology began to displace humans in the workplace.

Now, at a time when it is easier than ever to access research about the scope of this automation, it seems we reached a point where machines truly threaten a large percentage of the jobs that we know today.

Although we find it natural to imagine a machine taking the place of 10 or 15 employees at a factory of automobiles, something that society has become accustomed, which is not so common it is to imagine a robot writing articles or providing financial advice to a company. Or that a computer program can handle a car, no driver needed, as shown by Google recently.

Without in the not too distant past, workers feared for their jobs by the arrival of immigrants, who supposedly occupy many of the jobs available. Those fears more recently expanded into the wave of companies that established business centers abroad, to take advantage of the low cost of labor, from factories to call centers customer. Now, not only immigrants and the escape of jobs overseas is feared, but also fears for the advent of technology, able to perform routine tasks, for a lower cost long term, without vacation or drama in the office.

In those three aforementioned examples, the rule was that jobs were at risk were the most repetitive, or those that did not require much academic preparation or cognitive ability. But now everything seems to change. With improving technology in areas such as robotics and language learning machines, professions at risk simply spend less desirable to cover the many works of middle class jobs, so-called white-collar.

To escape these fears, twentieth-century society responded with a total commitment to education, hoping to ensure a safe as long as they got future, at least, graduating with a college degree. As technology progressed, university courses adapted -some more than others- to provide students with the skills needed in the new workplace.

These technological advances have made the technology has begun to replace many of the middle-class jobs, tasks that were performed in a simple way to automate. With the focus on the middle class, has created a polarization between the types of jobs that have experienced growth on the one hand, jobs that require little preparation, craftwork mostly, on the other hand, jobs with high academic requirements and cognitive, as these represent the last frontier for the machines. No matter how sophisticated the algorithms used to analyze data, for example, there is still no technological substitute for interpreting that information in a human-like form.

For any candidate willing to find a job for which they are untouchable for machines, for the moment, it should focus on what is working. To distinguish between manual and cognitive tasks. Tasks that can be automated and no. He thinks that if an employer can replace an employee for a machine capable of increasing productivity at lower cost … well, at least, will think very seriously.

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