a thoughtful web.
Good ideas and conversation. No ads, no tracking.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by veen
veen  ·  2425 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How likely is it that your job will be automated?

I get what you're saying and it is true, there will likely be a smoother transition because we either resist the idea of giving up all control or because we feel the need to keep working. There will still be humans involved in automated jobs.

However, their role and skill level will most likely be completely different from the current workers. Nicholas Carr makes the argument in The Glass Cage that wherever automation occurs, jobs that require the worker to perform actions are replaced with monitoring jobs. For example, the Dutch IRS was in the news this week because they will fire 5k of their 20k low-skilled employees. Their (data entry) jobs can now be automated. At the same time, they're hiring about 500 highly educated workers to monitor and analyse the system. Even if we make the transition more conducive to human workers, it will likely only benefit high-skilled workers.

To give you another example, Scania has a project running here where they want to link multiple trucks to each other, in such a way that only the first truck is driven by a truck driver. The others simply follow what the first truck does, Simon Says-style. If the average truck platoon has 4 trucks, that means that 3 truck drivers out of 4 are now out of a job, and the one who still has a job probably doesn't have to do much driving because that's partially automated, too. What to do then for the thousands of workers that have driver jobs? For a lot of automation there is just not much you can do to make it better for human workers that isn't a waste of money.