The Robots Are Coming!

A few days back, I spotted a brilliant quote on Twitter.

With robots becoming more like employees and employees becoming more like robots, the convergence should happen sooner than later.

Oct.8.Spec_.Unemployment2

Now and in the future, more and more jobs will be codified, especially ones which are repeatable and programmable. As the machines devour jobs which were once thought uniquely human, here is a selection of critical reading in this area to understand the trends, plausibility of the notion of machine / robots in the workplace, its impact (on work, companies, societies and economies) and what to do about it.

  • I believe the best starting point is the brilliant book by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee – The Second Machine Age. Once I started, I just couldn’t put down this book.
  • There are a couple of essays on the Wait But Why website. These explain the concepts in very easy-to-grasp ways and there are some nice charts too. Check them out here and here.
  • This essay by The Economist concludes that our societies are going to be tested with innovation delivering gains to the skilled, while the rest try to cling on to dwindling employment opportunities with stagnant incomes.
  • Another excellent essay from The Atlantic titled A World Without Work.
  • Finally, a superb interactive chart that shows the probability of specific jobs being automated in the future. Is your’s high on the list?

Computers / robots are getting smarter by the day. The first round of technology innovations led to increased productivity and employment. What will the second round bring? Do you think computers / robots will leapfrog us or complement us?

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