The future is automated, it’s time to embrace it

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Automation seems to be a trending topic over the past few years. Two technology giants, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, recently had a debate on the topic of Artificial Intelligence’s role in our society, which brought the issue to the forefront.

As technology gets better and better, the logical question that comes to mind concerns whether or not human jobs will get replaced by computers and robots.

Will automation get so advanced that it will make human work obsolete?

So much so, in fact, that we may need a universal basic income to cope with the ridiculously high unemployment rate that comes as a result?

Many workers fear that their jobs will be replaced and thus, they will have no means of generating an income to support themselves. I — for one — embrace automation, and welcome it into our lives.

For the entirety of human history, there has been massive advancements in automation and I do not doubt that there were some people at those times who were fearful of it.

How many people lost their jobs when the wheel was invented? Or maybe the horse and carriage?

How about the automobile? Obviously, it is clear to see that humans have benefitted greatly from automation.

Automation is business friendly, and if you cannot incentivize or convince businesses to hold the position that humans are a better hire than machines, then I hope you can make it out of this ‘qualification’ shift unscathed, because the fact of the matter is that this is where our society is headed, whether you like it or not.

Interestingly enough, as technological growth has increased, unemployment trends do not follow it closely.

In fact, one could argue that the employment rate has only increased along with trends of innovation and automation.

This is not to say that automation is the cause of a lower unemployment rate, but if the critics are correct, then shouldn’t we be able to recognize a trend in the opposite direction?

I am not saying that automation will have absolutely no bearing on how society prepares people to enter the workforce.

However, a shift in the standard of what society considers to be ‘qualified’ will have to occur. Adjustments to a person’s skillset will have to be made.

Automation has created entire industries of jobs that no one could have dreamed of existing in the past. There were new jobs then, and there will definitely be new jobs in the future.

And really, if people are so worried about the threat of automation, then the government should create a business environment that would make it attractive to hire human beings as opposed to robots.

Ontario’s upcoming minimum wage laws certainly do not help with the process of slowing down automation. McDonald’s already has self-serving kiosks and Metro is starting to experiment with automated cashiers in order to mitigate the losses that will be incurred due to a raise in the minimum wage.

A McDonald’s self-serving kiosk has never given me attitude or gotten my order wrong.

A kiosk does not ask for sick days or take extended vacations. I would rather my car be built by precise machinery than be built with the slightest potential for human error.

Even Tesla is jumping on automation with its self-driving car model.

Automation is business friendly and if you cannot incentivize or convince businesses to hold the position that humans are a better hire than machines, then I hope you can make it out of this ‘qualification’ shift unscathed, because the fact of the matter is that this is where our society is headed, whether you like it or not.

So, embrace it — and prosper — as sulking about it will get you nowhere.

But also take some time to admire what humans are capable of with a little bit of brainpower.

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