Blog Post 7-The Jobs of Our Future Ted Talk

Briefly summarize the content of this talk.

Andrew McAfee’s Ted Talk explored the concept of the our society’s future entering the Machine Age. He describes the Machine Age as the idea that technology will our future by having a massive impact on the jobs within society. He believes that while the highly educated population may not experienced any issues in this area, it will affect the people who fall into the bottom half of the middle class. Due to them having a lower level of education, they may face troubles with job availability. The lack of low end jobs due to automation will cause a disruption with in technology economy. McAfee then moves on to inform the audience that companies are increasing their profits while at the same time lowering the wages of their workers. He believes that if these actions continue, it will likely cause harm to society preventing people of having purchasing power on advanced technology products.

Why did you choose this talk?

The reason I chose this Ted Talk is because it covers a topic that I sometimes worry about. I clicked on this video hoping to find an answer to this deep concern of mine while at the same time wanted to ensure myself that I am not alone when it comes to being concerned about this issue. In addition, technology is a topic that I find very interesting compared to the other options I had when starting this assignment.

What did you agree with in this Ted Talk.

Andrew McAfee covered many claims within his Ted Talk that I agree with. McAfee stated that automation will affect the lower middle class because of them holding lesser skilled jobs that required a lower level of education. McAfee also mentions that people with a higher level of education holding higher skilled jobs will not be affected by automation. This will create a large gap between the 2 social classes that will result in the middle class falling into the category of lower class. I agree with this completely with these claims since we are already seeing this happening in our daily lives. Jobs such as cashiers, taxi drivers and bank tellers already have a mechanized counterpart which can perform their job much more efficiently. While looking at higher end jobs such a doctor or a dentist, the evolution of technology are in fact enhancing their jobs allowing themselves as a humans to be even more productive and efficient.

What did you disagree on in this talk? Why?

Andrew McAfee believes that automation will cause an increase of people that are unable to afford the advanced technology that exists in our society. He claims that this will be caused from both the lack of lower skilled jobs as well as companies paying their workers less while increasing their profits at the same time. Looking at this from an economic standpoint, I disagree with his statement that more people will be unable to afford technology. Technology products are usually very high in demand which means that people will general still purchase them even if there is a price change. Also, if is in fact a drastic increase in people no longer purchasing them, I think companies will either lower the price of technology or start paying workings more in order to get their revenues backup in the long run. 

What questions do you have after this talk?

Are there solutions to preventing automation from having such negative effects on society?

If automation were to take over, are there solutions for people with lower level education?

How long would it be before technology starts to “take over”?

Will automation one day begin to affect people with higher education the same way if would affect the people with lower education such as being replaced?

If there is an economic change between the higher and lower class, there would be more demand for higher education giving more power to increase the prices of tuition. Would there have to be a regulation regarding this potential change?

Would you recommend this talk to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend this Ted Talk to friends who are looking to go into trade school or college and entering the trade industry expecting high levels of success. The idea that going into trade school or college instead of pursuing a high level degree in university can actually lead to a more successful and profitable career is something that has circulated post secondary discussions regularly. Although there are plenty of of cases where this is true, this idea can also be very misleading. A study has shown that the large majority of people who support this idea are people wishing to encourage more students to go into trade school/college for profitability reasons as well as people who are insecure over the fact that they are not qualified for university. (This is not intended to sound disrespectful) The majority of people that graduate from a trade school or college go into labour jobs which was explained in the Ted Talk, as the type of jobs that will be most affected by automation. To conclude, I believe that this Ted Talk may shine light over the importance of having a high level of education.



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