As advancing technology changes the face of employment in the 21st century, is the human workforce being made obsolete?
Martin Ford is the founder of a Silicon Valley software firm and the author of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. Geoff Colvin is senior editor at large at Fortune magazine and author of Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will.
Martin Ford To understand why today’s information technology could have a much more dramatic impact on employment than anything we’ve seen before, it’s best to begin by considering the nature of work performed by most of our population. The reality is that a very large fraction of our workforce is engaged in activities that are on some level routine, repetitive and predictable. This is not to say that most people have jobs that are rote-repetitive, but rather that most workers face the same types of challenge again and again and that most of their actions and decisions can be predicted, based on what they have done in the past.