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Are robots taking our jobs ?

Updated on May 14, 2016

Pro animation thinkers point out that from human civilization to the industrial area pretty much everyone was a farmer. But today in America less than 2 % of the population are currently farmers or ranchers. That means that animation and technology has allowed us to grow fast amounts of food with just a few people. And those who had normally been farmers, could be something else, like software engineers, video bloggers or robot ethicists.

There's no reason for this trend to dry up in the future. In fact, it is expected to accelerate. Look at Amazon and their cybo robots that move big packages around, or the software that has replaced tax accountants every year, or even the robocalls which can replace the need of human operators. And there is more in the horizon. Just imagine how autonomist car could affect the trucking industry. Or even professional gamblers - there is this one program called CFS that elegantly can defeat any human player in a One on one game in limit Texas Hold'em.

The point is, anything that we humans do to make money will one day be do by robots. Better ? Cheaper. So if the question is: Are robots going to take our jobs away ?, the answer is actually really simple - yes, eventually they will. But there are other questions that are more important.

In 2014 a group of experts in fields like economics, artificial intelligence, robotics, were asked about their opinion in what animation was going to do for the economy. Will it eliminate more jobs than it will create by the year 2020-2005 ? 48 % of the responded said that it would be a net negative impact, that the economy will take ahead and we would see unemployment raise as a result of increased animation. 52 % had a net positive outcomes, saying that we are going to see new, higher payed, more skilled jobs come out because of animation, and things are going to get less expensive. So who is right ?

The truth is, technology is going to get both good and bad effects. On the one hand, human workers are going to be replaced by machines and are not always going to be able to retrain fast enough to get another job immediately. On the other hand, animation will give us access to better, cheaper, high quality goods and services, and it will create new jobs. Jobs that might be more fulfilling than out old jobs were anyway.

Some of the most optimistic thinkers say that it is possible these machines will end up creating all of our goods and services, and lead to a post scarcity world where we won't even need to buy anything. Everything will be just provided by machines. It's a free ride !

Even if we do arrive at this idyllic future, there is going to be a transition period that can be very difficult for workers. So we have to build that into long term plans.

If your job is simple and repetitive, if it could be described by very straight, full of list with instructions, it's likely to be animated earlier than jobs that require more innovation and creativity and thinking outside the box.

Machines are very good at productivity. They are not so good at creativity, innovation. So, on the plus side, this could lead to a world where workers are not priced for productivity, but for innovation, inventive ideas.

How do we prepare ? First, when animation enters your field of work, don't fight it. You're not going to win that war. Instead, become the machine whisperer. Find a way to work with the machines, not against them.

Second - education is the key. We have to make sure we teach rising generations. So maybe instead of learning from workbooks, which is all about productivity, we should have project based learning, which is all about creativity.

And third, there are some human institutions we may have to prepare ourselves to let go of, like paying people for work. Because if you have the machines doing all the work for you, that labor for pay model doesn't make sense anymore and we have to find something new to replace it.


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