Future of Work

Technology made work easier. Below is a self written article on what the future of work looks like and how it affects the lower and upper class.

For the past several years we saw technology grow in front of our eyes. From us having our first personal computers with the internet in the 90s to us having that same technology in our pockets with smartphones,  technology made big leaps throughout the years and reached new heights. In “The Future of Work: A VICE News Special Report” we saw how these new technologies are even changing the way we work. 

When the news report started we saw how there were self-driving trucks in production. While truckers were very impressed with the technology, they were worried about the impact that this would have on their jobs. Even though a truck driver would still be behind the wheel and make sure everything is good while driving, even engineers admitted that it would eventually get to a point where a driver behind the wheel wouldn’t be needed at all. This would go on to tell the overall impact these technologies would have on the world and how they would affect people, including “the guy at the bottom”. 

Working class people such as fast food workers, factory workers, and previously mentioned truck drivers are all getting replaced or working with new A. I technology. One of the most interesting industries to get affected by this is fast food. In California, there is a burger place that has robots be cooks and the owner explains how it’s more effective to code and configure a robot and then train several employees to do the same. Of course, restaurants like this still need employees to do tasks for those robots, but companies would need far fewer employees than they did before. 

Human/Machine collaboration is a big part of how A.I/robots work in the workforce. Places like an Amazon Fulfillment Center have employees and machines collaborating instead of competing. Even though the company(Amazon) sees this as a beneficial opportunity there was a worker that wasn’t sure if the machines were working for him or if he was working for the machines.

It’s not only working-class people that are getting affected by the new technologies that are offered in the world. As there was a portion of the documentary that focused on lawyers using AI to read contracts. To show the effectiveness of this technology a lawyer went against an A.I who specialize in reading and checking contracts. Not only did the A.I beat its human counterpart in time but it did a better job checking the contract for flaws. Similarly to the truck driver’s reaction to technology doing their job, the lawyer was also impressed. Unlike the truck drivers, the lawyer was excited for this technology to be implemented as it’ll make their jobs easier.

Doctors and surgeons also use technology in their fields as it makes surgeries easier and more efficient. They also welcome these devices in the workplace as it opens up more opportunities in the field. The same applies to finance as it changed the whole industry. Wall Street no longer looks like what it used to be in the 80s with 100s of people on the floor, as most of it could be done on computers. Many people working in finance are also knowledgeable about computer science as both fields are starting to combine. After viewing this part of the documentary it made me realize how technology is more beneficial to rich and educated people than the working class people. This is because with the working class the purpose of technology is to replace while in other fields the intention is to help and boost morale.

With that being said this forces people that work those lower-wage jobs to catch up with the times. That’s why many people are changing their professions as they are more likely to be successful if they’re in a field that involves technology.

-Freddie Nelson III

Week 2

Comparing all three of these videos, the most common theme that comes to mind is how much media has changed and how it affects us. In the transmedia vid, Henry Jenking explains how the 21st century change of media had a huge impact on how we approach everything in life. In the short interview video Jenkins also mentions how we get and receive something from these new technologies on  a frequent basis. This is what led me to add “How Has the Internet Changed Our Lives” to the blog as it dives deeper into what aspects it changed the way we do things. This involves the way we view entertainment, meet people, and most importantly gain information. Jenkins said himself in the Transmedia video, that something could be showcased to the maximum extent of media channels. What once could be seen in print could now be viewed on our phones, television, websites, etc. Without the new media and technologies that we have today, these videos and even this blog post wouldn’t even  be as accessible. It just makes it more interesting to see where technology and the way we process information could keep evolutionizing as the years go by.