The idea of replacing humans with quality operating machines and destroying today’s globally perceived patterns of social hierarchy has now become one of the most widely used within the industry of popular culture.
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Thus, when being constantly triggered by near-apocalyptic predictions for the future of civilization, people unquestionably become terrified of technology. When addressing personal experience, it would be hypocritical for me to say that this threat did not affect my perception of technology and individual abilities. However, eventually, this fear encouraged me to do personal research and answer the question of whether new technology was indeed so mortifying for the modern labor market. The results of the research have shown that while technology will undoubtedly modify the modern labor market to an unprecedented extent, it is people’s prejudice and ignorance that stand in the way of embracing the positive aspects of change.
To begin with, it is necessary to dwell on the very notion of employee displacement in order to define the scopes of this issue. According to the researchers, the idea behind worker displacement concerns the gradual process of replacing human labor with information technology (IT) due to time efficiency and the ability to process more data (Peng et al., 2018). However, when examining the initial process of IT implementation in the workplace, not everything revolves around the replacement of humans.
Indeed, some scholars believe employee displacement to be a possibility resulting in the IT-sphere capable of doing all the tasks expected from people (Peng et al., 2018). On the other hand, some researchers regard total displacement as an unlikely outcome, as new technology’s primary goal is to assist people and not to make them struggle with employment.
Personally, I identify with the second option due to its realistic characterization of the modern labor market. To begin with, today’s functioning of technology is impossible without human intervention. For example, when speaking of manufacturing automation as one of the major fields of employee displacement, the process of automation cannot be working without workers’ supervision. Undoubtedly, workers deal with some consequences of automation, such as a lack of employment opportunities and limited autonomy (Cirillo et al., 2021). However, on the other hand, the labor demand for managers able to embrace technology supervision is increasing according to the amount of technology adopted by the manufacturers.
Such a course of events leads to the question of people’s literacy in terms of modern employment. What is meant by that is the fact the people are unlikely to be completely replaced in the near future on the condition that they are aware of the skills required in the modern labor market. Thus, there are several ways to find a tangible solution to the issue of unemployment caused by technology. Firstly, starting from the secondary education curriculum, potential workers are to be taught on the matter of hard and sift skills expected from them in order to find employment. In such a way, employees will start their professional careers with enough knowledge to eliminate the risk of being replaced by a machine.
The second scenario concerns the situation where workers already find themselves at risk of being deprived of employment due to their inefficiency compared to the IT implementation. To address this issue, both employers and public bodies should introduce proper employee training in order to provide the workers with the ability to obtain additional skills relevant for the workplaces of the future. Moreover, by employing mobile learning, companies can secure a competitive benefit of flexibility (Solis, 2017). Hence, by considering these options, people could make the future of employment become safer and more ethical.
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When speaking of computer-induced labor displacement, the first and arguably terrifying association tackles the issue of income and financial stability for workers. Indeed, losing financial opportunities in today’s world seems like a severe challenge for any individual.
However, by living in the constant fear of replacement, people fail to embrace some positive outcomes of IT implementation. According to the research, the introduction of machinery and automation inevitably results in higher task intensity and labor performance, which, in its turn, accelerates the financial performance of a business entity (Acemoglu & Restrepo, 2019). Indeed, with no financial benefits in the long-term perspective, there would be no such demand for investment in new technology. Hence, it would be safe to assume that proper financial performance leads to an increase in average wage across various industries.
Considering the aforementioned aspects of employment digitalization, it may be concluded that technology should by no means be regarded as the enemy. The actual enemy in this case scenario is the employers’ failure to train their workers according to the expectations outlined by the market and people’s inexplicable fear of embracing the new labor environment. Undeniably, the future of employment is uncertain because of its dependence on technology. However, being flexible and embracing change may be of paramount assistance for the ones unwilling to be replaced by machines. Thus, a proactive approach to labor automatization is one of the ways to leave the plot of apocalypse movies a piece of one’s imagination for a little longer.
Acemoglu, D., & Restrepo, P. (2019). Automation and new tasks: How technology displaces and reinstates labor. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 33(2), 3-30.
Cirillo, V., Rinaldini, M., Staccioli, J., & Virgillito, M. E. (2021). Technology vs. workers: The case of Italy’s industry 4.0 factories. Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, 56, 166-183. Web.
Peng, G., Wang, Y., & Han, G. (2018). Information technology and employment: The impact of job tasks and worker skills. Journal of Industrial Relations, 60(2), 201-223. Web.
Solis, R. (2017). Employee training strategies for today’s workforce. Strategic HR Review, 16(6), 250-254. Web.