Work in the Age of Automation

January 2019

Technology has a history of advancing in order to displace the need for human labor for more trivial tasks. This allows human effort to be redirected towards greater and more complex goals. With every innovation, there is a technological shock for an economy to recover from. Some jobs are displaced and those individuals need to be either retrained or taken care of by the social welfare system. If the displacement is large and those displaced aren't properly accounted for civil unrest may develop and there may be ripple effects to those who may have to bear the burden such as productive family members. Generally the adjustment happens organically and with some coordination over a period of time. However, in recent years, the speed of technological advancement has drastically increased. Automation is able to quickly be adapted to increasingly complex tasks and we are increasingly lacking both the capacity and the ability to retrain the displaced workers.

Further Reading