Late in 2013, Gartner produced some interesting/controversial/link-bait research [depending on your point of view] on the impact of technological innovation and revolution on employment.
Patrick Thibodeau writing in Computerworld says that:
Gartner warned that by 2020..
the impact of labor reduction “will cause social unrest” and a quest for new economic models in several mature economies.
From 2020 to 2030, “you are going to see the first human-free enterprise — nobody is involved in it, it’s all software, communicating and negotiating with one another,” said Diane Morello, a Gartner analyst, who has looked at how smart machines will reshape employment.
The controversial/interesting position here is that Gartner is putting down some dates and recommending immediate courses of action.
Thibodeau continues… The job impacts from innovation are arriving rapidly, according to Gartner. Unemployment, now at about 8% [ in the US ], will get worse. Occupy Wall Street-type protests will arrive as early as next year as machines increasingly replace middle-class workers in high cost, specialized jobs. In businesses, CIOs in particular, will face quandaries as they confront the social impact of their actions.
Machines have been replacing people since the agricultural revolution, so what’s new here?
In previous technological leaps, workers could train for a better job and achieve an improvement in their standard of living. But the “Digital Industrial Revolution,” as the analyst firm terms it, is attacking jobs at all levels, not just the lower rung. Smart machines, for example, can automate tasks to the point where they become self-learning systems.
Ed. Like all such predictions of the falling-sky, there is some “intuition” within these predictions that rings true to the reader. In Australian terms, there are real challenges for many communities that are experiencing rapid and multiple employment transitions from full to part-time, and the more noticeable and immediate “closures”.