Sunday, January 27, 2013

Toldja!

Two weeks ago, I complained that the current Internet-fueled economy was destroying vastly more jobs than it was creating, and reshaping the entire landscape for careers in the future for the worse.

Today, the AP has the same story -- though, since it's reported by professionals (unlike my Internet-fueled amateur thought piece, which is actually a symptom of the problem) there are quotes and numbers and lots of backup detail.

Turns out we're all screwed, unless we do something unique, or are willing to do the kind of service jobs that can never be automated (shelf-stocker, waiter). Everyone who doesn't self-identify as an "artist" or "entrepreneur" might as well learn how to eat grass; our jobs and middle-class income will all disappear eventually.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a former shelf-stocker, I feel entitled to quibble. Especially in stores that close at night, the job is very doable by a robot. Store shelves are neatly arraigned, do not move about, and placing the proper items in the proper places requires no creativity or "human" judgement. Unloading pallets that are on the loading dock is slightly more complex, but still well within the capabilities of modern machine vision systems; plus, inventory systems are already so computerized, that the contents of every pallet should already be known. Thus the robot doesn't have to be able to recognize any potential item, it just has to be able to distinguish (say) ten different items on a given pallet. All of which already have barcodes anyway.

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