What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

The World Is Automating Itself Out of Jobs

May 6, 2013, 8:42 AM

What's the Latest Development?

A pair of MIT authors scheduled to publish a book extolling the virtues of technological progress have gone back to the drawing board. Presently, they are concerned that technological innovation is displacing the global labor market. "Unlike with previous technological revolutions, today, it is no longer primarily poorly trained and educated workers in less challenging jobs who are threatened, but also the broad middle range of the workforce, consisting of service providers and white-collar workers. Call-center staff are being replaced by telephone robots, paralegals by computer programs that can more quickly and effectively comb through documents, and tax advisers by more cost-effective software."

What's the Big Idea?

The 2000s were the first decade since the Great Depression to end with a net loss in jobs despite the fact that economic prosperity is one-third higher than it was 20 years ago. "According to the usually accepted rule of thumb, when the economy rapidly grows, unemployment should decline, often by 1 percent for every 3 percent increase in GDP. According to this formula, the US should have almost full employment by now. Instead, even before the financial crisis, no additional jobs were created, although productivity surged at the fastest pace since World War II." The traditional ties between economic activity and standard of living appear to be loosening. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Spiegel



The World Is Automating Its...

Newsletter: Share: