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I watched the video below yesterday with both terror and excitement. Terror because of how many jobs this sort of technology will wipe out. Excitement because I am aware of the fact that, for a company like ours, it’s going to save probably millions of dollars in wages in the years to come.
As a company owner, cost savings are a good thing. As a parent, and also a citizen who cares about the people in our society, robots and automation are a worry for the workforce.
When I think of my own children, it does slightly concern me. I see jobs being wiped out all the time. The bottom line is that technology is going to really to have an impact, as it already is, and accordingly I want to help ensure my own kids are protected from it.
How do we do this? Can we shield them? I cannot sit here and say that I have the answers; I don’t think anyone does. But I can tell you that I am working hard on ensuring that they are smart.
Smart because it will give them options. The higher the grade, the more complex the course and job they may have, and the less likelihood that a robot can do it for them.
I have heard that they are developing robots who will be able to perform surgery. There’s no tiring from the surgeon as the hours roll on and he or she begins to lose focus. There is no shaking of the hand or accidentally mis-cutting. So maybe my theory on smart kids is wrong. Maybe no job is safe…
I saw this diagram on an article I was reading recently and while it doesn’t have all the answers, I believe it sums up quite well the future workplace. This is what I think employers will be looking for.
In any case, teaching our children strong communicative skills is seriously important. One of the things I value most in business is sitting around a table and brainstorming with people who have the ability to think outside the square. We look at opportunities and threats and plot pathways into the future. So while a robot can do a whole lot of process work, it cannot think outside the square.
That is what humans do, and that is what I am betting on in helping raise my children for an uncertain workforce.