Optimism in the Technological Age?
It amazes me, how our optimism blinds us. It is the reason we get out of bed in the morning. And the reason why we are going to get a huge wakeup call in the next 10 years.
I am, what my family calls “annoyingly optimistic”. You see, with the advancement of technology, my optimism needs to be replaced with, what I now call “realistic optimism”.
Over the last 20 years in my industry alone, huge technological advances saw a workforce of 3,000 people diminished to under 250. Gone are the days of “hoping” for the best – just ask over 2,500 people who lost their job because of technology. Gone are the days where waking up with our optimistic nature is going to pay the bills – ask me who saw her business shut down overnight due to government regulations.
Technology is advancing at such a rapid rate. We don’t know what the future holds. And given that my son is only 9 years old, I have no idea what he can expect. Optimistically I can wake up and tell myself – “He is going to be fine” and continue to hope. But being a realistic optimist I should be waking up and saying “He is going to be fine, let’s see what we can start doing to future proof him”.
Here is the reality, many jobs are becoming redundant, and when I mention redundancy I refer to a team of 10 people being cut down to 1 or 2 people.
We know of some of the obvious ones like cashiers and bank tellers.
What about a truck, train and bus drivers? What does the entire transport industry do in 10 years when the workforce is scaled back?
Like me you may be thinking, that’s not too bad.
Technology; Optimism; man vs machine; future
What if I were to tell you that technology is being implemented in Chemists to take the role of the pharmacist? Law firms and financial firms are replacing university qualified staff with research robots, capable of taking on all research and discovery work that would have taken a dozen paralegals to do in the past.
Still not convinced? What about pilots, journalists, bartenders, stock traders, Doctors, Anaesthetists, Surgeons, Soldiers, Guards, Postal workers, Travel Agents, chefs, hotel staff…
Do I need to continue?
You see as an Entrepreneur you would already be thinking about the next big success. You would already be planning for the future, you know that realistically you need to take action, make decisions and keep moving forward.
So my statement stands, there is no place for optimism in this technological age.
Watch Anthony Goldbloom ‘s TED talk entitled “The Jobs’ you will lose to Machines – and the ones you won’t.”