Andrew McAfee: Are droids taking our jobs?

“Robots and algorithms are getting good at jobs like building cars, writing articles, translating — jobs that once required a human. So what will we humans do for work? Andrew McAfee walks through recent labor data to say: We ain’t seen nothing yet. But then he steps back to look at big history, and comes up with a surprising and even thrilling view of what comes next.”

While he doesn’t really back up his optimism very well, Andrew has done exactly what I intended to do by graphing out many of life’s major events. The results, albeit surprising, reinforce the effect that the Industrial Revolution has had on society. He is very straightforward about the revelation that many of our more mundane tasks are, in fact, becoming automated. What he doesn’t quite mention though, which Jaron Lanier is very specific about it “You Are Not a Gadget,” is that our roles as humans will finally begin to revolve around our most valuable commodity: Our creativity. If innovation and inefficiency are tied, then the two still lie solely within man’s sphere of influence. Understanding that computers can outperform us on many (if not most) of our daily tasks is not a sign that we should despair about the future: It is rather the freedom to explore our ideas at whatever pace we choose.

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