Sunday, February 17, 2013

"Get Ready To Lose Your Job" - well, if you are employed doing something that tech can do, you may be screwed.

Meanwhile, “profits have surged as a share of national income, while wages and other labor compensation are down,” notes Paul Krugman. Walter Russell Mead agrees: “The old industrial middle class…has been hollowed out, and no comparable source of stable high income employment has emerged.” Recent data supports that: “Incomes rose more than 11 percent for the top 1 percent of (American) earners during the economic recovery, but barely at all for everybody else … Median household income is about 9 percent lower than it was in 1999.”

Coincidence? Nope. The great tech revolution of the last 30 years is finally beginning to metastasize into every other human domain–in other words, software is eating the world, endangering almost every job there is. I argued a few weeks ago that this means America has now hit peak jobs. Let me now unpack that a bit.

For 50 years now Moore’s Law has been (to oversimplify) doubling computing power every two years. People like Ray Kurzweil and Vernor Vinge look at that astonishing history of nonstop exponential growth and predict a technological singularity within our lifetimes.

But if you are engaged in the creation of something unique that tech cannot do... you may prosper.

1 comment:

David Liang said...

I totally agree Don. Joel Grimes is famous for saying that "An instrument can not make a creative decision". Now in the context that he uses it I disagree with him, instruments give us the information we need to make those creative decisions.
But to your point I think things that can be standardized and generalized, can be replaced by more efficient code, mechanics or processes. The safety I think lies in finding those areas where no situation is exactly the same, and require judgement calls, compromises that are subjective, choices that may require emotion and/or taste.
Come to think of it wouldn't that be a great future? Technology handles the mundane, repetitive, boring tasks and humans handle the creative, conceptual, fun tasks.