Robots Are Good For You: Experts Explain Advantages of a Robot-Enabled Society
If you take a look around you right now, especially when you are on a busy street, you would see that driving is essentially a living. Drivers are part of one of the biggest sectors of the economy. However, in another decade, these people may be replaced by driverless cars and drones.
In a report by the International Business Times, Mark Carney of the Bank of England said 15 million jobs may be lost as a result of such innovation. These include journalists, accountants, librarians, and estate agents, to name a few. However, some believe this isn't bad, depending on how you look at it.
As Daniel Hannan explained in his IBTimes piece, the fear of being unemployed as a result of mechanization is not new. In fact, our ancestors feared the notion as well.
The same concerns were voiced out a few centuries ago, especially around 1750 when 80 percent of Britons have worked in agriculture.
By 1840, the proportion had fallen to 22 percent, and now it stands at 1.2 percent.
At the time, some argued that modern agrarian techniques would wreck lives, that the new factories would never be able to absorb all the "jobless" farmworkers.
Interestingly, this also marked the rise of products that the masses have not been previously able to buy. These include cutlery, porcelain, rugs, mirrors, clocks, and machine-made clothes. Essentially, the living standard took off, and Britain's population tripled in the century after 1750.
When Britain moved from industry to services in the 20th century, the same "prophecies" were intoned. And just the same, the time and energy freed up by technological advance was deployed elsewhere.
According to Wired, now people found they could afford basic commodities such as food and clothing while working elsewhere. They used their "spare time" to generate wealth.
However, this time, when telephones became widespread, telegraph operators lost a lot of jobs.
According to IBTimes, it may be important to understand that the reason why the displacement of old technologies create more jobs is because the money that previously went to old technologies can expand other industries and make new ones.
Meaning, the productivity gains brought in by driverless cars may create more than enough activity to provide new jobs for former drivers.