Automation Isn’t Eliminating Employment

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Since the creation of robots and the realization of what they could do, there has been buzz that one day automation technology will take over all of our jobs and we will become slaves to the cyborgs. From Rosie on The Jetsons to Number Seven, the butler robot in The Benchwarmers to Wall-E’s friend, EVE, the media has shown us how robots can fulfill our jobs as well as, if not better than, some humans.

In some cases, there are cases for use of automation instead of people: no human error, more consistency, cheaper labor costs, and safety and/or sanitation of both human and product (for example, radioactivity or food processing). There is talk of robots and other automation technology being used to replace drivers, store clerks, legal readers, astronauts, and soldiers, just to name a few. In fact, it’s said that 1 in 10 jobs will be replaced by robots in the next decade. However, this doesn’t mean that we should be worry about automation technology taking over everything. This should be seen as an opportunity as opposed to a threat.

Automation Robot

Flickr: Chris Isherwood

Why is technology created, refined, improved upon? To simplify our lives and our daily tasks, not eliminate them! Think about your job: What is in your job description? What duties must be fulfilled? Which of these duties can be done either partly or completely by technology? That’s automation.

For example, let’s say you are a lawyer. Some aspects of your job include meeting with clients, reviewing laws, reading and scanning documents, and making your case in court. Now, robots and automation technology could read and scan documents for useful pieces of information for your case. This technology won’t get headaches, won’t need breaks, won’t need sleep, etc. By cutting out just that one aspect of the job allows you to devote more time to other aspects of your job. Now, you may be able to spend more time with your client, preparing him or her for being put on the witness stand. You could also use this time to re-examine evidence, allowing you to create better cross-interrogation questions during the case. This hasn’t taken the career away, just allowed for better allocation of time.

What can you use technology for at work? What can it do instead of you so that you can continue to be the best version of your working self possible? Take a moment and remember that aspects of your job may be replaceable, but whatever you bring to the table–heart, drive, ambition, passion, positivity–never will be.

automation robot and man

Flickr: Steve Jurvetson