Every geek’s fantasy, but every service worker’s nightmare.
It’s no surprise that technology is getting better, faster, smarter. But is it at the expense of its makers?
Anxiety has been building around the Second Machine Age and its implications for our economic future, and it may have reached a tipping point.
Just last week, Silicon Valley venture capitalists and executives published an open letter on the digital economy calling for public policy changes and new organizational models to account for this era of drastic technological change.
The authors write, “The digital revolution is the best economic news on the planet.”
But not everyone agrees. Several scholars have been sounding the alarm on the danger of technological progress.
During a presentation at the Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs this week, researcher Wendell Wallach said technology is now destroying more jobs than it creates.
“This is an unparalleled situation and one that I think could actually lead to all sorts of disruptions once the public starts to catch on that we are truly in the midst of technological unemployment,” said Wallach, a consultant, ethicist, and scholar at the Yale University Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics.
Martin Ford, a software developer and Silicon Valley entrepreneur, recently published the book “Rise of the Robots” in an effort to generate a conversation around the prospect of a jobless future.
We’re not worried enough, he says. Most people don’t understand the “mind-boggling” speed that technology is advancing at.
“When people talk about robots, they’re mostly imagining factories, but the factory jobs have been gone for decades,” Ford tells Business Insider.
Read more: businessinsider.com