Another Observation About Tech Impact On Middle Class Jobs

Close up of a IT engineer or consultant working with hard drive installation in a blade server. Data rack in a large datacenter.

While reading James Barrat’s book, Our Final Invention, about artificial intelligence and its impact on humanity, I came across the following paragraph.

“Advances in natural language processing will transform parts of the economy that until now have seemed immune to technological change. In another few years librarians and researchers of all kinds will join retail clerks, bank tellers, travel agents, stock brokers, loan officers, and help desk technicians in the unemployment lines. Following them will be doctors, lawyers, tax and retirement consultants. Think of how quickly ATMs have all but replaced bank tellers, and how grocery store checkout lines have started phasing out human clerks. If you work in an information industry (and the digital revolution is changing everything into information industries), watch out.”

Barrat’s line of thinking is not new to me. Over the past year, I’ve published reviews of The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Experts , Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, and The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies at my blog, www.wallyboston.com/wallyboston.

Even if you don’t read books (or blogs), wouldn’t a reflective pause while using your smartphone cause you to wonder what happened to the people who used to arrange the flight, hotel, and rental car that you just booked through an app?  What about the book store clerk who helped you find the latest publication about artificial intelligence or your favorite mystery writer’s new book?  Yes, there will be jobs in the future, but the carve-out in the middle will occur wherever there’s an opportunity to utilize technology effectively and efficiently.

Leveraging your productivity and value by utilizing technology effectively will be the safest way to keep your career on track and relevant.

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