Is Technology Creating or Destroying Jobs?
Technology is getting smarter, increasingly capable of white-collar work like legal research and medical diagnoses. Will machines finally put us out of work or can we work together?
What's the Latest Development?
American unemployment has remained above nine percent since the onset of the Great Recession despite ongoing technological advancements which are meant to deliver more jobs. What can explain this? "America's current employment woes stem from a precipitous and permanent change caused by not too little technological progress, but too much," says The Economist's American correspondent N.V. Unlike past technological gains, which have replaced blue-collar workers, machines are beginning to take middle-class jobs.
What's the Big Idea?
Machine-learning, language-translation, and speech- and pattern-recognition software are some of technology's new tools that are replacing middle-income employees. Some social critics, such as Jeremy Rifkin, believe we are racing toward a workerless world at the speed of technological change, which is exponential, while the consumption that drives demand remains linear. But technology has never been a one-way street and it will continue to open opportunities, just as the app market for smartphones has.
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Explore a legendary philosopher's take on how society fails to prepare us for education and progress.
- Alan Watts was an instrumental figure in the 1960s counterculture revolution.
- He believed that we put too much of a focus on intangible goals for our educational and professional careers.
- Watts believed that the whole educational enterprise is a farce compared to how we should be truly living our lives.
How can we use the resources that are already on the Moon to make human exploration of the satellite as economical as possible?
If you were transported to the Moon this very instant, you would surely and rapidly die. That's because there's no atmosphere, the surface temperature varies from a roasting 130 degrees Celsius (266 F) to a bone-chilling minus 170 C (minus 274 F). If the lack of air or horrific heat or cold don't kill you then micrometeorite bombardment or solar radiation will. By all accounts, the Moon is not a hospitable place to be.
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