Newsletter • 04 July 2013. unsubscribeview online
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This is the title of a recent article by Jon Evans, in an online magazine called Tech Crunch. He argues that today’s technologies will do away with the need for people in economic activity. Quite a strong assertion. Note that he is not saying jobs will decrease or remain the same. He is asserting that the need for jobs will fall away altogether! The talk is not of a computer to assist employees with certain functions; the talk is of an army of drones replacing people.

What is going to happen to the people? Evans quotes Henry Blodget as saying that at present, “Fewer Americans are working than at any time in the past three decades.” Unemployment appears to be heading in one direction – upwards – whereas in the past it fluctuated with peaks and valleys directly proportional to a country’s economic successes and failures. Western manufacturing has used the economic downturn to upgrade to robots so that when the upswing in the economy hits they will not have to re-employ staff to cope with increased demand. Naturally, these robots are made in China.

Evans further warns that this is not limited to factories. He cites the example of Momentum Machines that is creating a hamburger-making machine that churns out made-to-order burgers. Even knowledge workers are at risk; teachers, researchers, writers, even banking staff. Whilst technology is creating wealth, it is destroying jobs.

The human being is the supreme survivor – we are living proof of this. Necessity, as we know, is the mother of invention. The question is, ‘Where will we be in 100 years’ time?’ Where will this challenge push us to in our quest to survive? What will we invent? The human race is probably at the brink of a substantial paradigm shift. We just dont know in which direction....

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