Advances in technology are proving a lifesaver for businesses up and down the United States, but has left many fearing for their jobs.
“Over the next 10–20 years, technology will affect almost every occupation”
According to nature.com, a report published by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine details the impacts of information technology on the workforce, and the findings are startling.
“Over the next 10–20 years, technology will affect almost every occupation. For example, self-driving vehicles could slash the need for drivers of taxis and long-haul trucks, and online education could enrich options for retraining of displaced workers,” the website writes.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is well and truly upon us, and critics have suggested that policymakers are flying blind into this new digital age and are not really looking at the bigger picture when it comes to the impact technology will have on the human population and its workforce.
Bold questions are being asked on this very topic. What job opportunities are being created by the emergence of modern technologies and what jobs are being lost because of them? The plausible imbalance between gained and lost jobs is weighing heavily on the minds of many industry bigwigs.
Robots in the healthcare industry are already being perfected to conduct the jobs that are currently undertaken by humans, including: surgery, hospital logistics, cleaning robots, disinfectant robots, administration, robots used for rehabilitation, and many other areas. It’s not just healthcare adopting this tact either, technology over-rule is evident in many sectors right across America.
It’s without much debate that technological advancements should be used for the likes of administrative functions, where filing, analyzing and managing data is improved using online-based systems, but the questions lie in whether technology and even robots should be used to replace humans when there is no factual evidence to determine which is more effective – human or robot.
Nature.com has called for “the creation of an integrated information strategy to combine public and privately held data. This would provide policymakers and the public with ways to negotiate the evolving and unpredictable impacts of technology on the workforce.”
The key here is to ensure that policymakers are aware of the growing workforce shift upon us, and to implement an effective strategy to tackle the issues faced. One way to achieve this is by analyzing data to determine the best outcome and to act accordingly.
Most of the data needed to pinpoint, understand and adapt to workforce challenges is not gathered in a systematic way. Despite the influx of online data, decision-makers tend to lack timely, relevant information or lack the resources to be able to respond to the findings.
Governments are being encouraged to learn the lessons of data driven decision-making and experimentation to tackle the long-term problems accumulating. To be able to act effectively to the technology revolution upon us, and to limit the damage caused within the workplace, is key to securing the future of humanity.