12 September 2018

Automation, Unemployment, and Universal Income

Only 20% of the job loss in manufacturing is due to outsourcing and globalization. The other 80% is automation. And it’s not just manufacturing jobs. There are many, many white-collar jobs that are also prone to automation — bookkeeping, accounting, being a lawyer, and medical fields like radiology and pharmacy. Journalism and content creation are increasingly threatened by automation. Advertising used to be about developing a brilliant ad campaign or slogan or tagline. Now a lot of it is just an algorithm getting products in front of the right people. Even things that you think of as sacrosanct, like being an artist or a musician, artificial intelligence can often create in a way that’s indistinguishable from work done by humans. So the impact of technology is going to be much broader than many people believe.

The reality is that, as jobs are going away, they are not being replaced.Dumb Questions for Smart People: Automation, Unemployment, and Universal Income

This is topic that I’m struggling to wrap my head around. Will jobs disappear? Will new jobs appear? I hear new statistics on a daily basis and I think we’ll have to accept the fact that it’s very similar to the stock market. No one really knows what’s going to happen. The faster we accept that we don’t know, the quicker we can adapt.