The Growth of Technology and Fewer Jobs for Human Beings
Technology defines the process of creating, modifying, and using tools, machines, and skills as reliable methods of organization to address certain situations intended to solve particular problems, modify existing resolutions to challenges, achieve certain objectives, manage applied inputs as well as perform certain functions. It can as well be defined as the collection of instruments, modifications, systems, and procedures to accomplish particular functions intended to solve particular problems while on the other hand seeking to accomplish certain objectives. Technological advancement has continually influenced the human and animal species’ capacity to manage and adjust to their natural settings. The use of technology by the human species particularly begins with the transformation of natural resources into useful instruments.
The modern technological advancement that came with the invention of things like the printing press, mobile phones, and the Internet has significantly reduced the physical barriers that may have previously inhibited easy communication, thereby allowing individuals to interact freely across the globe. However, there is enough evidence indicating that not all technology has attributed to positive development. This is because different types of technology have attributed to varying impacts on human society and its environs. Growth in technology has perpetuated the growth of advanced economies that include the modern-day global economy, which has in return led to the growth of the leisure class. Conversely, adopting various technological processes attributed to the creation of certain unwanted products can eventually lead to constant pollution and the subsequent diminution of natural resources and destruction of the earth’s environment.
Growth in technology has also contributed to a great impact on the value of society, which may subsequently lead to the emergence of various ethical questions. This has led to the emergence of varying philosophical debates relating to whether technology improves or deteriorates the human condition. Various movements have as well criticized the rapid growth of technology in contemporary society, opining that it destroys the natural environment while on the other hand alienating people. Critiques have as well argued that growth in technology has attributed to the constant replacement of human labor with automated machines, thereby leading to the creation of fewer jobs for human beings.
The main aim of this paper is to investigate whether growth in technology attributes to the creation of fewer jobs for human beings. The paper will mainly look into historical advancement in technology, how technology has led to the significant replacement of human labor with automated machines, and the possible future of job opportunities for human beings as a result of constant growth in technology.
Growth of Technology and Fewer Jobs for Human Beings
Growth in technology is not new as varying industries that include both manufacturing and nonmanufacturing have been subjected to constant technological change that has been evident over time. Similarly, the impact of technology on the employment sector has been evident, and this intensifies as the constant growth of technology is witnessed. The industrial revolution that took place during the 17th century perpetuated a significant impact on the employment sector through eliminating various human occupations in textile industries. Subsequent advancement in technology led to a significant alteration in job content as well as employment structure, and this was evident in an array of industries, which took place long before the advent of computer technology. In a vivid example, the United States had close to 38% of its entire labor force working within the agricultural sector in the 1900s. Constant advancement in technology, however, led to a significant reduction in this percentage as only 6% of the labor force was employed in the agricultural sector at the dawn of the 1960s. Growth in technology has seen this figure-gaining steadiness at about 2%, which has been attributed to constant mechanization among other types of technological advancements.
Concern relating to the implications attributed by growth in technology is also not new. Economists among other categories of scholars that existed during the 18th century raised concern relating to the implications perpetuated by new technology on the employment sector and the subsequent economic stability. This indicates that certain perspectives on the modern changes in job opportunities for human beings as a result of growth in technology can be understood from previous concerns on how employment might have changed as a result of technological advancement.
The first debate relating to the impact of growth in technology on job opportunities for human beings dates back to the dawn of the great depression. During this time, a publication on firm productivity indicated a constant increase in productivity in various manufacturing sectors while on the other hand indicating a significant decline in the level of employment. The impact of the 1927 recession intensified concerns relating to the possible connection between rapid growth in productivity and constant decline in the level of employment, even though the great depression played a role in amplifying these concerns. Scholars thus conducted extensive studies in manufacturing companies and industrial plants to understand how human workers were being displaced by technology, particularly in manufacturing. Their findings, particularly during the 1920s indicated that human workers were experiencing long periods of unemployment and the subsequent loss of income. The collected data however did not allow these scholars to make a generalized conclusion on the global economy as a whole.
Economists undertook simple statistical assessments of trends in productivity and employment in various production industries to establish whether there was any significant link prevailing between increased productivity and decline in job opportunities for human beings. Although previous economic theories stated that efficiencies perpetuated by constant growth in technology would demand the redeployment of human workers, findings of their assessments indicated that methodological limitations could not provide reliable information to help understand the extent to which growth in technology affected the labor sector.
The dawn of the Second World War converted the slacked US labor market into the tightest and most reliable market that ever existed in history. This saw the issue of growing cases of unemployment resulting from rapid growth in technology vanishing from the popular media and empirical inquiry among scholars. The period following the end of the Second World War, however, revived concerns over the impact of technology on the availability of job opportunities for human beings as constant advancement in technology attributed to significant fluctuations in the level of unemployment. This period thus saw the birth of the term automation, which was used to describe the self-driving production technology that included automatic feeding and unloading machines in manufacturing industries. This saw various reports emerging from manufacturing companies that substituted group production with constant process technology. These reports indicated that the companies had reduced their demands for human workers to between five and seven employees that needed to manage communication instruments, record numbers, and perform troubleshooting duties. The establishment of direct-dial initiatives within the service sector significantly reduced the need for the various operators that would previously be needed to conduct switchboard connections among other service-related operations, which significantly reduced the number of employees constituting the clerical staff. This went hand in hand with the advent of scanning technology, which significantly reduced the number of human workers that would be required to perform typing and bookkeeping responsibilities.
Continued technological advancement during the 1980s led to the introduction of the term “structural unemployment,” which was commonly used by economists to define a state of involuntary unemployment that was particularly concentrated in certain industries that had experienced constant advancement in technology. These trends can thus be used to explain the recent changes in the number of jobs available for human beings. This is particularly due to the realization of the fact that exploitation of labor-saving efficiencies perpetuated by constant growth in technology does not exhibit a direct correlation with the growth of labor demand for various categories of human workers.
The impact of the growth of technology on the employment sector in modern-day society can be measured in three perspectives. These perspectives include a decline in the total number of employment opportunities available for human beings regardless of skill specialization, significant alteration in the skills mix required to perform certain tasks, thereby reducing the level of occupational demand, and change in skills content thus altering the overall occupational distribution available for human beings. A great deal of concern in modern-day society has particularly focused on the possibility that growth in technology might perpetuate a future economy that will virtually require no human workers, thereby causing a high rate of unemployment and idleness among human beings.
Research indicates that the dawn of the 2000s was characterized by constant advancement in technology, which went hand in hand with constant stagnation on employment growth. Research further indicates that the number of job opportunities available for human beings indicated a 1% decline over the past decade contrasted with a 20% growth that was experienced during the 1980s and 1990s. This is by no means a coincidence as constant growth in automation has attributed to the significant decline in demand for service workers in a wide range of industries. This is particularly due to the fact that most kinds of tasks performed by service workers are being carried out through automated technologies that include scanning and direct dials. Forecasts also indicate that it is not only the labor-intensive occupations that will be replaced by automation as top executives may as well find their occupations being replaced by automation. This is because most of the responsibilities that top executives perform will best be conducted through technologically assisted machines in a few decades to come. Among the core executive responsibilities that will be automated include making a decision that is related to business culture, as what executives do will best be done by machines. The advent of robot automation is another important trend that indicates how growth in technology will perpetuate a significant decline in the number of jobs available for human beings. The rapid growth of technology in China has, for example, seen most electronic manufacturers replacing most of their factory human workers with millions of robots that have continued to gain prominence.
The impact of technological growth is also evident in routine-extensive occupations, particularly those comprising tasks that can be performed using certain systematic procedures that can be easily be accomplished using sophisticated logarithms. Research has indicated that a rapid decline in job opportunities available for human beings in the manufacturing industry has led to a constant decline in other related routine jobs, thereby attributing to the subsequent decline in the rate of employment among human beings. As a result of growth in technology, the automation of routine tasks within the manufacturing sector has seen most workers shifting their labor supply from the middle-level to low-level occupations. This may be mostly attributed to the fact that manual tasks available at the low-level occupations are less susceptible to automation. Conversely, this perpetuates a significant decline in employment opportunities available for human beings in middle-level occupations.
The need to eliminate human biases that may significantly reduce productivity has also perpetuated fewer jobs for human beings as automated machines have continually been designed to perform varying tasks that they have been given. Fraud is a major human bias that has attributed to the significant decline in job opportunities available for human beings as growth in technology has allowed for unbiased decision-making, which allows for the detection of possible errors in big data. Growth in sensing technology has as well transformed sensor data to become one of the most reliable sources of big data, which significantly reduces the number of jobs that can be available for human data managers.
Growth in technology has also enabled computers to directly respond to various human requests. Studies have shown that Siri and Google are, for example, using technology-assisted user interfaces to capture, interpret, and respond to spoken words. Conversely, the Smart Action communication company uses computerized call solutions through the use of ML technology to recognize speech as well as respond to such speeches using the vocal response systems. This has been attributed to a constant decline in the number of job opportunities available for human beings in these companies particularly because they seek to significantly reduce the overall cost incurred when hiring the human labor force serving in their call centers.
The impact of technological advancement on the employment sector has been an important debate that has drawn the attention of many scholars throughout history. Growth in technology during the 17th century attributed to a significant decline in the number of individuals that we’re serving in the agricultural sector, particularly because the advent of machinery among other technology-assisted pieces of equipment led to the significant replacement of human workers with machinery. The introduction of automated machines further led to the significant replacement of human workers serving at the middle-level occupations with automated machines, which significantly reduced the cost of production while on the other hand increasing the overall gain. Forecasts have shown that growth in technology will not only affect skills-intensive occupations but can as well lead to automation of various executive responsibilities, thereby reducing the number of jobs available for top executives. Growth in technology has also perpetuated a constant decline in the number of people serving in call centers, as companies are able to use technology-aided machines that have the ability to capture, interpret, and respond to speeches. The need to reduce human errors has seen most companies opting for computerized procedures that can significantly reduce any possible errors in big data, which has continually reduced the number of job opportunities available for human data managers.
 Woolliams Fons. “Realizing Change through Other Ways of Working: Reconciling Competing Demands.” (Organizational Development Journal, 31.2 (2013), 101.
 Ibid 104.
 Swasti Mitter. Women Encounter Technology: Changing Patterns of Employment in the Third World. (New York: Routledge, 1995), 29.
 Ibid 34.
 Stephen Tansey. Business, Information technology and Society. (London: Routledge, 2003), 221.
 Ibid 227.
 Ralph Sanders. International Dynamics of Technology. (West Port, CT, Greenwood Press, 1983), 78.
 Verme Paolo. “Understanding Globalization, Employment and Poverty Reduction.” (International Labour Review, 144.3 (2005), 103.
 Ibid 106.
 Phillips Bruce. “The Increasing Role of Small Firms in the High-Technology Sector: Evidence from the 1980s.” (Business Economics, 26.1 (1991), 89.
 Ibid 92
 Soete Luc. “ICTs, Knowledge Work and Employment: The Challenges to Europe.” (International Labour review, 140.2 (2001), 59.
 Giovanni Cornia. Inequality, Growth, and Poverty in an Era of Liberalization and Globalization. (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004), 87.
 Ibid 91
 Lynn Gref. The Rise and fall of American Technology. (New York: Algora, 2010), 22.
 Ibid 27.
 Vandana Chandra. Technology, Adaptation and Exports: How Some Developing Countries Got It Right. (Washington, DC, World Bank, 2006), 54.
 Ibid 60
Bruce, Phillips. “The Increasing Role of Small Firms in the High-Technology Sector: Evidence from the 1980s.” Business Economics, 26.1 (1991): 88-97.
Chandra, Vandana. Technology, Adaptation and Exports: How Some Developing Countries Got It Right. Washington, DC, World Bank, 2006.
Cornia, Giovanni. Inequality, Growth, and Poverty in an Era of Liberalization and Globalization. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004.
Fons, Woolliams. “Realizing Change through Other Ways of Working: Reconciling Competing Demands.” Organizational Development Journal, 31.2 (2013): 99-107.
Gref, Lynn. The Rise and fall of American Technology. New York: Algora, 2010.
Luc, Soete. “ICTs, Knowledge Work and Employment: The Challenges to Europe.” International Labour review, 140.2 (2001): 40-49.
Mitter, Swasti. Women Encounter Technology: Changing Patterns of Employment in the Third World. New York: Routledge, 1995.
Paolo, Verme. “Understanding Globalization, Employment and Poverty Reduction.” International Labour Review, 144.3 (2005): 102-109.
Sanders, Ralph. International Dynamics of Technology. West Port, CT, Greenwood Press, 1983.
Tansey, Stephen. Business, Information technology and Society. London: Routledge, 2003