The continuous and rapid growth in technology arises a fundamental concern in which the employee pool is threatened by innovative automation technology.
For many decades now, technology has been used in order to facilitate certain commands employed by individuals. Through technological transformation, many basic tasks have been simplified. The Industrial Revolution originated the use of technology in a work environment. Consequently, low wage workers were introduced to operate the machinery, and the rapid production rate of such machines made it difficult for competition to stimulate.
Human labor that is replaced by machine labor was defined in the 1930s by Lord Keynes as being “technological unemployment”. This is becoming an increasing concern for society as the concept is met with great pessimism.
The term automation technology has triggered a widespread debate. Many view this concept as either being a positive aspect to the general public, or a negative one.
The Luddite Fallacy states that regardless of the changes made in developing new technology, it does not lead to overall unemployment. The agricultural industry between 1900 and 2000, for example, has decreased their employee workforce from approximately 41% to 2%, however, production has drastically increased to a point that now the government must subsidize farmers.
David H. Autor credits the avoidance of unemployment to complementarity over substitution. Although Autor illustrates that automation technology does in fact substitute human labor, it is also intended to complement it. The higher outputs that arises due to the fast producing technology demands for an increased labor pool as well.
The debate follows, is automation technology providing for a more efficient and safer way to do things, or is it advancing at an exponential rate in which it will soon consume the entire labor workforce?
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