March 24, 2014
Does technology really destroy jobs? The short answer is that it’s complicated, but what technology definitely does affect are the industry career paths of the future. Regardless of whether this is a good thing, a bad thing, or a mix of opinions, technology and the workforce can and will coexist in some capacity. In order to get closer to answering the great technology vs. jobs question, here are just a few ways to look at the debate.
Robotics and the Human Workforce
Technology does make life easier, but the majority of today’s workforce is in fear that the technology behind robotics makes life a little too easy for companies all across the world. There is a growing debate about robotics in the workplace and whether it’s the beginning of a job landscape that no longer requires humans.
The fact of the matter is robots do work more efficiently than humans, but they simply can’t function without human interaction. Whether it’s an assembly line machine that rivets joints at lightning-fast speeds or a warehouse floor robot that fills stock orders on demand, robots in the work environment simply improve workflow, but they aren’t a total replacement.
Automated Phone Services Can’t do it Alone
Yes, automated phone services do streamline the calling process, but only to a certain extent. When a business sets up an automated phone service, it’s to relieve human operators of incoming calls that are easily handled with a few automated questions. This doesn’t mean the robotic voice on the other end of the line will take over.
In fact, the majority of automated calls usually result in the caller opting to speak with a living, breathing operator. Not only that, but there’s only so much automated phone services are capable of. An automated system is intuitive to a point, but human interaction is still a necessity.
Computers Still Need Specialists
Technology-based careers are an ever-expanding field within the U.S. job sector as well as the job sectors in other countries. From computer programmers to IT specialists to network administrators, tech jobs are growing at the rate new technology becomes available. This suggests that technology is creating jobs, not destroying them.
In fact, jobs in the tech sector are becoming some of the most desirable careers within any industry. Because technology is now a part of everyone’s life, tech careers offer ongoing job security. Likewise, tech careers offer plenty of room to grow as technology expands and advances to meet new needs.
Monitoring Systems Require a Second Set of Eyes
Although the popularity of monitoring systems is on the rise in businesses and factories all across the world, this form of technology still requires a human’s touch. Monitoring systems report on every aspect of a manufacturing plant’s factory floor, but these systems require human monitoring in case something goes awry or a decision needs to be made in the moment.
Likewise, many of the processes that monitoring systems use are highly customized, which means every time there’s a change or upgrade to the system, the monitoring software must also be updated. This requires the expertise of programmers and technicians of the human variety, which is yet another way technology is a job creator.
Human Interaction is Irreplaceable
At the end of the workday, the human interaction factor is something that can never be replaced by technology. This doesn’t mean the future doesn’t hold artificial intelligence that’s beyond the capabilities of today’s workforce, but what it does mean is technology is just as much a part of the human workforce as humans are a part of technology. One does not function without the other and vice versa.
There is something that’s impossible to duplicate about human interaction. There are certain characteristics about business that just can’t be replaced by technology. Whether it’s the customer service industry or the inner workings of a factory monitoring system, the human part of the equation is the most essential if only for a human’s ability to interpret and act on any given situation. Perhaps, in some instances, technology is eliminating jobs. However, it is also creating many new ones, which is something that can’t be argued — at least not right now.
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