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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Computer Automation Will Increase The Need For People

The Automation Paradox

When computers start doing the work of people, the need for people often increases.

James Bessen | January 19, 2016 

Automation isn’t just for blue-collar workers anymore. Computers are now taking over tasks performed by professional workers, raising fears of massive unemployment. Some people, such as the MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, identify automation as a cause of the slow recovery from the Great Recession and the “hollowing out of the middle class.” Others see white-collar automation as causing a level of persistent technological unemployment that demands policies that would redistribute wealth. Robot panic is in full swing.

Technology Can Increase the Need for Human Labor. The relationship between technological progress and jobs is more complex than computers simply eliminating routine work. Many jobs incorporate both routine and non-routine tasks. Employees in these jobs do not necessarily need to fear automation. By eliminating routine tasks technological advances reduce the time and cost of completing their work. This increases output and can leave the overall need for human labor unchanged or even increased. Source:

<more at; related links: (‘Rise of the Robots’ and ‘Shadow Work’. May 11, 2015) and (Scarce Skills, Not Scarce Jobs. The "real" challenge technology presents isn't that it replaces workers, but rather displaces them. April 27, 2015)>

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