TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Efficiency (with Automation) vs Jobs, which takes priority?

Efficiency is doing a particular task faster, better, and cheaper. Being efficient has a tendency to destroy jobs because you need less people to do a certain task. While some jobs are created, most jobs are destroyed in the process. The #1 Job Killer in this world is efficiency added with automation.

For example, one computer programmer can kill 50 manual jobs. Sure, you could say that there will be more computer jobs but there's a problem with that. More then likely, it will only create 4 or so computer jobs. Not only that, it will probably be deficient 1 of those jobs because out of the 50 or so jobs it killed - only 3 of them have the intelligence to figure out how to do those jobs. And if you add more complex items like algorithm theory and advance mathematics, there's a good chance none of those 50 will ever have a job again.

Which comes to the question. Efficiency vs Jobs, which should be a priority in modern society?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jul 23 2012: efficiency does not destroy jobs. certainly, it destroys some jobs, but at the same time it enables other jobs. in a free market economy, the two numbers are equal.

    as an example: with the invention of the weaving frame, the number of people employed in the textile industry went up tenfold. at the same time, total output went up hundredfold.

    if efficiency would destroy jobs, 97% of people today would be unemployed. it is because almost everyone worked in agriculture 3000 years ago, but today, only like 3% does. but the remaining 97% did not become unemployed. they do something else today.
    • thumb
      Jul 24 2012: Sir, 36.1% of population still depend on agriculture as their primary sourse of income. 12 times more than what you have stated in the conversation. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2048.html#xx
      • thumb
        Jul 24 2012: thank you for the correction. the actual number is

        United States farming, forestry, and fishing: 0.7%
        United Kingdom agriculture: 1.4%
        Germany agriculture: 1.6%

        way lower than i thought. sorry for not caring about the developing nations. my argument is about progress, so let us consider the advanced nations only.
      • thumb
        Jul 24 2012: one more addition, before someone claims that this is because of food imports. hungary has twice as much food exports as food imports, yet agriculture contributes 3% of the gdp.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.