Increasing Understanding of Technology and Communication

Workforce Prognosis: Robots Take 90% of U.S. Jobs


Artificial Intelligence expert Jerry Kaplan says those whose jobs involve ‘a narrow set of duties’ are most likely to see their work replaced by automation.  Ever since the first vision of a robot appeared on the horizon of mankind, humans have feared that automation would replace the workforce in our dystopian future.

There typically follows a period of reassurance, in which we are compelled to believe that this will be a good thing, and that robots could actually liberate us from the drudgery of daily toil and fee us for more enjoyable, cerebral pursuits.  Futurist Jerry Kaplan, 63, is among those optimists.  He estimates that 90% of Americans will lose their jobs to robots and we should all be happy about it.

“If we can program machines to read x-rays and write news stories, all the better.  I say good riddance,” Kaplan said.  “Get another job!” (Wow!)

What’s not discussed is the observation that inequality will be “a dark cloud” over this period of robotic rule.  The robots, Kaplan admitted, will be owned by the rich.  “The benefits of automation naturally accrue to those who can invest in the new systems, and that’s the people with the money.  And why not?  Of course they’re reaping the rewards,” he said.

“We don’t have to steal from the rich to give to the poor.  We need to find ways to give incentives to entrepreneurs.”

One possible solution to 90% unemployment would be job mortgages, so that people who are displaced by robots can take out loans toward future earnings in unknown jobs.  “People should be able to learn new skills by borrowing against future earnings capacity,” he said.  There will be a difficult period of transition during which massive unemployment will sweep the country.  “The bad news is it takes time for these kind of things to happen.”

Kaplan was here to give a positive spin on the future.  With a PhD in computer science specializing in artificial intelligence and a fellowship at the Center for Legal Informatics at Stanford University Law School, he’s a bonafide expert.  His argument for the future of jobs foreshadows how this next industrial revolution – one that is inevitable, one that is facilitated by very smart robots – will be sold to the masses.

“Machines automate tasks, not jobs.  Many of these tasks require straightforward logic or hand-eye coordination,” Kaplan said. “If your job requires a narrow set of duties, then indeed your employment is at risk.”

He contrasted licensed nurse duties (a lengthy list of activities that involved empathy and problem solving) with bricklayer duties (laying bricks).

“This doesn’t make society worse, it makes it better,” he said.  “It may take only 2% of the population to accomplish what 90% of our population does today.  So what?”

He said new jobs would emerge and cited the fact that his daughter’s job hadn’t existed 10 years ago – she’s a social media manager.

Kaplan mentioned other employment options that will remain: tennis pros, party planners, flower arrangers and undertakers.  “No one wants to go to a robotic undertaker,” he said.  “Can you imagine?”

Though the robots might take jobs, they wouldn’t be doing so consciously, so we can stop worrying about that: “Robots don’t think the way people think.  There’s no persuasive evidence that they’re on the path to becoming sentient beings.”

“AI is simply a natural expansion of longstanding efforts to automate tasks,” he said.

“Robots don’t cook or make beds.  They don’t have independent goals and desires.  They aren’t marrying our children.”  Very comforting.

Read Article (Nellie Bowles | | 03/12/2016)

Like it or not, technology is in your future.  How will it impact your future?  That is totally up to you.  You can choose to prepare yourself by gaining the skills to adapt or just hang-out and accept whatever you can get.

Our webinars were designed for those who choose to gain skills, and this article is a serious reason why.  Addressing digital literacy is what we are about, join us and donate to our efforts today.

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Searching for Jobs in the Digital Era


The Internet is an essential employment resource for many of today’s job seekers, according to a new survey by Pew Research Center.  A majority of U.S. adults (54%) have gone online to look for job information, 45% have applied for a job online, and are just as likely to turn to the Internet as they would their personal or professional networks.

Yet even as the Internet has taken on a central role in how people find and apply for work, a segment of Americans would find it difficult to engage in many digital job seeking behaviors -such as creating a professional resume, searching job listings online, or following up via email with potential employers. But while many use their smartphone to search jobs or communicate with potential employers, others use their mobile device to write resumes or fill out online job applications.

Conversely, CareerBuilder reports that when a mobile candidate is notified they are about to encounter a non-mobile friendly apply process, 40% end the application process. That’s because the application process can be lengthy on a site that isn’t designed for mobile applications.

Among Americans, 79% utilized online resources in their most recent job search and 34% say online resources were the most important tool available to them. Only (66%) made use of personal connections or professional contacts (63%). Taken together, 80% of recent job seekers made use of professional contacts, close friends or family and personal connections for searching employment – nearly identical to the 79% who utilized resources online.

28% of Americans have used a smartphone as part of a job search, and half of those have used their smartphone to fill out a job application. Americans who have not attended college tend to lean heavily on their smartphones which would include job searching. This can be attributed to not having broadband at home. They also are more likely to use their mobile device to create a resume or cover letter, and fill out an online application with their device.

Younger users are especially active at utilizing social media platforms for employment-related purposes, but roughly one-quarter of social media users ages 50+ have used these platforms as well.

Read Article (Aaron Smith | | 11/19/2015)

The Digital Era is all-pervasive & anyone not online or be able to use the Internet effectively, may as well be living on another Planet. For individual and family wellbeing, it behooves everyone to get, at the very least, a little tech-savvy.

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Job Searching Tips Via Mobile Device


Its 10pm, you’re comfortable stretched across the bed and Twitter has your full attention.  Why not search for jobs on your mobile device instead?  According to the Jobvite 2015 Job Seeker Nation report, that’s what almost half of the Millennials (47%) are using their devices for, from bed.

Your phone can be a very useful tool for job hunting, Snagajob saw its users increase their mobile job searching by 95% over the past year.  Almost one-third of CareerBuilder site traffic each month, now comes from mobile devices.  However, this traffic doesn’t all translate into job applications.  According to Snagajob, the number of job seekers applying for jobs via mobile device, dropped by about 4% over the last year.

CareerBuilder reports that when a mobile candidate encounters a non-mobile friendly application process, 40% end the apply process.  That’s because an application process can be lengthy with multiple pages and isn’t designed for mobile.  So you can find the job while mobile and do the application from your home computer.

Here are 10 tips for Using Your Phone to Job Search:

  1. Install apps. –There’s a lot of job-search-apps available for smartphones, you can download apps that search for jobs by keyword and location, email job listings, keep track of contacts, and even create a resume. You need one that will save jobs and can email the job listings, so you can access them from your home computer.
  2. Use a job site. –Sites like CareerBuilder or Monster, there you can apply with your existing application materials that you have uploaded for your home computer.
  3. Check for new job vacancies. –It only takes a few minutes to use your apps to check, so you can get the latest listings as soon as they are posted.
  4. Send yourself job listings. –it’s easy to email listings to yourself, either by using an app or by features built into your phone and open the email on your computer, once home.
  5. Get notifications and alerts. –This depends on the job site you’re using, but most have this option available to account users.
  6. Submit email applications. –If you email yourself a copy of your resume and save it in the In-box on your phone, you’ll be able to forward it to employers who request applications via email. Write your cover letter in the body of the email message.
  7. Set up a signature on your phone. –If you set up a professional signature on your phone you will be able to communicate readily with employers and networking contacts.
  8. Be careful when applying from mobile. –In most cases it can be easier to apply for jobs from a computer because of the information you’ll need to enter. Don’t waste time when it’s easier to wait until you get to your home computer.
  9. Use your phone for networking. –With LinkedIn’s mobile app, you can stay up to date with your network, update your profile, view and save recommended jobs.
  10. Send a thank you note. –It’s always a good idea to send a thank you note after a job interview, and you won’t have to wait until you get back to your computer to do so.

Read Article (Alison Doyle | | 2015)

The “Dream Team” for communications is a mobile device and laptop or desktop.  And contrary to certain marketing pitches, they are not interchangeable.

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