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Technological Unemployment: Is It Different This Time?

In the past, technological advancements ushered in new industries and created new jobs that were better, safer, and offered better pay.  A small fraction of the population are farmers today and their producing more food than ever before.

Up until recently, technology advancements have improved tasks that were highly routine- Production-line, manufacturing, manual labor. It replaced our physical abilities. But some are saying that there is a new round of advancements that will change the equation and result in technological unemployment.

But could it be different this time?

For the first time, technology is replacing our mental abilities.  Apple’s Siri can understand our words, IBM’s Watson is beating the best and brightest in Jeopardy, Google is rolling out driverless cars, Netflix and Amazon have complicated algorithms that offer spot on recommendations for us.

We will be hearing more and more about this in the years to come.

Our take – A new technological revolution is starting and it will be a major disruption. There could be a period where certain jobs are at risk of being replaced by Siri or Watson or some other machine with a person’s name. But after a period of disruption, that innovation will eventually lead to new developments that will likely result in new jobs requiring new skills.  It’s similar to the period when the farmer moved to the city to work in a factory.

If you’re interested in reading more, take the time to read this article It’s well worth your time.