Thursday, January 12, 2017

More Jobs of the Future Don't exist Yet

In this post,  Josh Wood (a tech recruiter), makes similar points that I was trying to make here and here.   Namely, that we can't really predict what jobs are safe nor that all the jobs will be automated.  It is the downstream effects of machine learning and AI on the economy that are utterly unknown.

He makes a statement that automation may be overblown:

After all, had the Blacksmiths Unions of the early 20th century been given the power to do so they would have outlawed the motorcar. My point here is that for every piece of ‘job-destroying technology’ there is a new job-creating industry being born which can never be properly foreseen. Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics Milton Friedman accurately pointed out that most economic fallacies derive from the ‘zero-sum fallacy’ – the idea that if one party gains another party must always lose, when in fact provided all parties consent to a change all must be gaining (Otherwise, said party would not consent). The entire IT industry as we know it today would have been unthinkable to even the most prophetic sci-fi writers fifty years ago (We don’t all seem to wear identical silver clothing, either…), just as the number of Application Developers working today would have been unfathomable to leading technology economists writing in 2006.

The tech industry is huge part of the economy.  Jobs are constantly being created that didn't exist before.

Automation is going to change the world as we know it, of that there can be no doubt. But change has been a factor of human life for as long as human life itself has existed. Employment and recruitment will change in line to reflect this, but the very fact that we, humans (Consumers) don’t want human jobs to disappear is the very reason that suppliers will continue to employ humans to serve their customers – it just might be in roles or sectors which don’t exist yet. As a headhunter my focus isn’t on the five million jobs about to be lost, it’s on the six, seven, or more million jobs that are going to spring up from who-knows-where.

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