The CEV members met on the 24th of March, 2016 for a general discussion on the impact of automation on the current market status. The discussion covered many broad aspects, problems and even probable solutions. Here is the brief conclusion of the discussion.
“Automation”, what a beautiful word! Where don’t we find automation? There was a time when men were needed to forward our message to some other person using telegraph. But today we can do that in minutes by simply typing and tapping on the send button. Such a major relief on our side! But what happened to the man whom we used to give our message to forward?
Today we all are so engaged for our comforts that we are overlooking the price we actually are paying for it, unemployment. People are being continuously replaced by the automated machines for the simplest works too. Two decades ago this problem was not found to be on such a large scale, but from the past few years we see a whole lot of unemployed people all over the world due to technological advancements. This problem has reached to such an extent that it has got its own term “TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT”.
Industrial sector is marching towards full automation. But it is indeed needed. Machines are developed to reduce human efforts and they are exactly doing that. A person doing some job has a higher chance of making a mistake than a machine. Also the machine does a job faster than a human. If I can read news anywhere through my mobile phone, why would I open up a newspaper? A machine always does things which it is told to do. It does not have feelings(hopefully) and so it would do that work in spite of the conditions.
For a country, unemployment plays a vital role in underdevelopment of the country. It increases the poverty and decreases the literacy rate of the country. Also the per capita income decreases. A purchase of 10-20 machines in an industry leads to hundreds of people losing their jobs. With the advancements in Artificial intelligence, the time is not long that for each and every job man would be replaced. Dooms day comes nearer and nearer with the increasing robots.
But we can’t stay forever in the stone age. With increasing laziness, people come up with new and new ideas for becoming lazier. Technological advancements cannot be stopped. But it can be limited. Why would we want to make a human like robot when we have overpopulation in the country? Such high advancements leads to people losing jobs on much larger scale and also it increases the fear of bots taking over human population.
The technological advancements are inevitable but they should be made in such a way that the unemployment caused due to it is least. Automation leading to short scale or short term unemployment can be entertained, but not the larger ones. Machines are supposed to be developed to decrease human effort not to completely remove it. For example, auto rickshaws replaced the cycle rickshaws that decreased the effort of the driver but it did not make him unemployed. Invention of cars or taxis can also be entertained as there is a need of a driver in that, but driver less cars is way too much. An industry should not replace ten humans with a single machine, but it should bring in machines that reduces the production time and increases the quality of product drastically but need humans for its operation.
The technological unemployment may become the biggest global issue in the near future. Hence we need to make sure to apply brakes on the journey of automation at regular intervals and always have the control in our hand. A limited progress in the technology to reduce human efforts and increase their comforts should be there but it also has to take into view the betterment of the workers who were previously working in place of that technology.