Technology Is Replacing Humans More Than You Know

Picture your standard day, and all of the actions and people you see throughout it. You wake up, you shower, put on your clothes, you drive to work, picking up some coffee on the way – and then perhaps you sit at a desk, or, you’re up on your feet moving around all day. Think of all the people you see, the tasks you have to perform in your job, and the tasks that others have to perform in order for you to successfully do your job. Whether it’s driving to work, getting coffee, running an errand, shopping for supplies, or simply getting some food at lunch, you’re used to humans being there along the way. You’ve heard lots of people talk about how robots are taking over the jobs in the world and such… but technology is replacing humans more than you already know.

We’ve seen movies and read into the conspiracies of total world domination by robots coming to our world soon. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a very real thing, and even super-start billionaire geniuses like Elon Musk (Tesla Motors, SpaceX, founder of PayPal) warn us that automation technology that is able to learn on its own is a very cautionary area that poses a potential risk to the future of mankind. Yet despite these risks, the rewards of utilizing automation technology has helped all sectors of business and government streamline production approaches, and limit costs – namely, the cost of labor.

Labor cost is the biggest cost any major business can have. An on-going expense that is predictable and reliable to occur every single month, regardless of how effective or efficient it is utilized. This isn’t the same as, say, energy costs, where producing or manufacturing products in a more efficient way, or using more advanced technology, can help limit the costs. At the end of the day, the more workers you have, the more hourly expense. Simple as that.

And, as inflation increasingly becomes a problem, the reaction from business owners ‘should’ be to pay their workers higher wages to offset it. Yet nobody does that (if they did, the minimum wage would be closer to $20/hour now, instead of where it actually is). By keeping minimum wage the same year after year, businesses are actually able to remain even more profitable, because they are effectively paying employees less money, that is to say, an amount of money that is worth less than it was last year.

– But what if we didn’t have to worry about any of that? What if, instead of paying 100 humans to work a job… we could have 10 humans overseeing a bunch of robots? Wouldn’t this be better for the organization? Or, at that point, what’s left of it? That’s what many in the manufacturing industry have been doing in America for years – but as the video above by C.G.P. Grey shows us, things aren’t just progressing more quickly than we know… They’ve already progressed more than we realize. Because robots are already able to learn things on their own, and perform any number of tasks that humans can. They don’t have to be build for a specific purpose either. – They are general purpose, and that’s likely going to scare the “human labor force” a bit.

Does this mean we should try and stop this technology from being used, for the sake of saving jobs? Of course not – Our species has survived and thrived for so long for our ability to adapt, and that’s precisely what we’re doing here. Evolving and adapting to conditions that present itself. The increased production increases supply, and profits. No amount of picketing and complaining is going to stop that. – So prepare for the future, instead of trying to preserve the past ways. Past ways don’t work well enough anymore – that’s why they are in the past! Baxter, the robot in the example within the video above, isn’t the culmination and the outcome of technology in the workplace. It’s the beginning of the next step.

Prepare your children for computer-centered jobs. Programming, specifically, as well as numerous other areas that will be thriving in the years to come. Yes, we will ALWAYS need construction. We will always need doctors, lawyers, plumbers, welders, and other various trades and specialties… at least, for a few more years. Those jobs are probably going out the door too in the future. Be prepared for a new phase of opportunity that revolves around technology, because the more technology becomes a part of our businesses, and the more value it has, the less value humans have.

Charlie Pryor

Charlie is a media producer, writer, and a traveler. He grew up in Michigan, all of his life and attended Grand Valley State University for a B.S. in Film and Video Production. He's married to a wonderful woman named Hang, and simply hopes to one day turn himself into a man that many will remember long after he's gone.

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