For as long as humans have been working, they have been looking for ways to get that work done better, faster, and more efficient. Over the course of human history, mankind has created innumerable spectacular inventions, all with the goal of making the economy and daily life more efficient. Today, innovations and technological advancements are happening at a pace like never seen before, and technology like automation and artificial intelligence are poised to once again fundamentally alter the way people live and work in society. Whether society is prepared or not, robots are coming to replace human labor, and they are coming fast. In many areas artificial intelligence has disrupted entire industries of the economy. As people continue to make advancements in artificial intelligence, more industries will be disturbed, more jobs will be lost, and entirely new industries and professions will be created in their wake. The future of the economy and society will be determined by how humans adapt to the rapid innovations that are taking place every single day. In this paper I will examine the extent to which automation will take the place of human labor in the future, project the potential effect of automation to future unemployment, and what individuals and society will need to do to adapt to keep pace with rapidly advancing technology. I will also look at the history of automation in the economy. For centuries humans have been advancing technology to make their everyday work more productive and efficient, and for centuries this has forced humans to adapt to the modern technology through things like training and education. The thesis will additionally examine the ways in which the U.S. education system will have to adapt to meet the demands of the advancing economy, and how job retraining programs must be modernized to prepare workers for the changing economy.
- Automation in a Progressive Economy: The Race between Humans and Technology
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