The Internet of Things is Poised to Disrupt Your Career
by Damon Brown on www.ioti.com
In 2013, when the Internet of Things was in the beginning throes of going mainstream, an Oxford study proclaimed that 47% of U.S. jobs could be replaced by algorithms. While no one knows what the employment landscape will look like in a decade, our ability to drive and track productivity will almost certainly advance by leaps and bounds. There’s reason to start preparing now for your job of the future.
Those motivated out of fear tend to cling to the past rather than adapt. Earlier this year, for instance, New York taxi drivers are working to ban self-driving cars for half a century. It is likely that we will see more examples like this in the near future. Many people throughout the world hate Silicon Valley-style disruption, as Newsweek observed last year, and are inclined to resist it and work to preserve the status quo.
Rejecting new workplace technology has a long history, of course, dating back to the Luddites—the English textile workers who protested the use of technology in the 19th century. Some of these protestors would disguise their identities, slip into factories, and use massive metal sledgehammers to destroy textile machines. At best, that only slowed things down.
Yes, the debut of textile machines, assembly lines and attrition of lower-skilled jobs negatively affected some workers. But the Industrial Revolution and the Machine Age would go on to vastly improve productivity. The cotton gin alone was some 50 times more efficient at removing cotton seeds than humans were at the same task. And such technology laid the groundwork for Ford’s mass production of the automobile decades later.
Preparing for the Next Revolution
Now, we are arguably in the early stages of a new industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, to cite the German theory for the next industrial upheaval. (In case you were wondering, the first three revolutions were powered by water and steam power, electric power, and computing technology, respectively). Cyber-physical systems are the backbone of the fourth industrial revolution. In any case, technologies such as connected sensors, cloud and virtual and remote software offer vast new potential to transform everything from the factory floor to logistics.
Given the power of such technologies, it is easy to see how factory workers must have felt in the early days of the first Industrial Revolution: threatened.
The basic fear now is the same as it was then: Humans are making themselves obsolete.
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