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Machines on the March Threaten Almost Half of Modern Jobs - Analytical Essay

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Machines on the march threaten almost half of modern jobs - Analytical essay

It is commonly known that robots are occupying a lot of jobs that previously belonged to humans. But will this pattern continue? And is the future of human jobs looking as grim as it first seems? Carl Frey and Michael Osborne write the topic of globalized computerization in their article “Machines on the march threaten almost half of modern jobs”. The article was published on theconversation.com the 23rd of September 2013. It is commonly known that technology is replacing a number of jobs but the article states that there is more to it.
Generally, the text informs the reader that the global computerization has taken a great number of middle-class jobs resulting in a hollowing out of the middle class. But as time goes, more jobs are in danger of being threatened by robots, algorithms or similar. Actually, almost half of modern jobs are in the danger zone. This is because technology can simplify the tasks of manual labor or the like following a replacement of the human worker. Furthermore, the increasing productivity of higher-class jobs has also contributed to the divide in wages received among the world’s population. However, not all jobs are in danger in the near future as the article states because engineering and science jobs requires creative intelligence, which robots lack. This also goes for occupations demanding some sort of social intelligence along with arts, media, education and health-care.
The article is structured interestingly. It begins with a classic intro setting the topic and explaining what the fuss is about. The text then informs the reader that the famous John Maynard Keynes were wrong as he was far too optimistic about the automation that is growing exponentially. The next part focuses on how the situation is today and that the future of the job market looks grim. Afterwards, it is demonstrated how the technology replacement functions. The next parts deals with some of the “safer” jobs and notifies the reader that some of the numbers of those jobs has been diminished as productivity rises, which lowers the need of a large amount of workers in that particular area. Then, the article explains the evolution of the computerization, which further surges the potential fear, residing in the reader, of losing its job. Even more professions become threatened to extinction as the years fly by. But in the end, the article explains which occupations are relatively safe and advises low-skilled workers who are the ones at the highest risk of losing their job to train in skills that cannot yet be replaced by a computer or a robot.
The article is structured in this way because it first describes the situation, which arguably is thinly defined because of missing perspectives, as horrific as logically possible. With data capable of lighting fear in the average reader in a large part of the text, the intention, which will be elaborated later, is significantly highlighted. Even though it is explained how some groups can be considered “safe”, which the article describes afterwards, this question of safety is also reconsidered as time only has shown a decrease in careers immune to computerization. This requires advice in the end to guide the reader in the right direction in order to be able to keep his/her job. But at least some of us are safe in the near future as the article ends.
The intention is to enlighten the reader of the automation that is happening right now. It instructions the reader to be creative and to strive for the higher-class jobs in order to keep his/her job. This is brilliantly expressed in the thought-provoking structure. But it does not discuss the situation and therefore it can be concluded that its primary intention is to inspire the reader, which can be substantiated in the following quotation from the article: “If you want to stop a computer taking your job, you’ll have to hone your creative and social skills. Mercifully, it will be quite a while before the machines outpace us in that respect.” (ll. 125-128). In the quote it is clear that the only safe thing is to train your social and/or creative skills as it seems like the only opportunity the reader is presented to. But is there no other way? And is the global computerization as bad as it seems in Frey and Osborne’s article?
A Guardian video certainly thinks so. The video agrees with Frey and Osborne for the most and demonstrates how it almost will be impossible to have a job that can actually support a family. For instance, some of the jobs, that were previously considered “safe” by Frey and Osborne such as education, is being transformed from a teacher standing in front of a class to a teacher on the internet. Not only that, but it is also completely free, which totally eliminates the need of a real teacher. Or does it?
Even though this was demonstrated a year ago along with other examples, it has not seem to have that great of an impact yet. The politicians are not talking that much about it and you cannot seem to find that many sitting at home studying everything at home. Maybe mankind is just not ready for this kind of computerization. We might have more time than what is first presented in the video and in the article. The following article from Theatlantic.com argues exactly for that. The article argues that technology always has created more jobs than it has destroyed, so although Frey and Osborne’s article argues otherwise, this is historically truer. Someone has to manufacture, design and configure these robots, which is a job in itself. This is how it has been for years. This is perhaps also what can be observed in everyday life.

But how about when machines can create other machines and control them just like humans used to? And is it possible that we see a robotic artist in the future? Well, only time will tell. But one thing is certain. Computers replaces humans increasingly more as time progresses, so maybe one day we might have to think of alternatives for a job as everything is already being taken care of by a robot. This might seem too science-fiction-like but a long time ago no one believed that we would ever set our human feet on the moon. And frankly, that was a long time ago.

--------------------------------------------
[ 1 ]. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/video/2014/oct/15/the-internet-is-after-your-job-video
[ 2 ]. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/08/the-robots-are-coming-but-are-they-really-taking-our-jobs/375655/…...

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