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Wake Up & Smell the AI

Despite the great divide between citizens living in the United States, there is one thing that everyone seems to agree on – Americans deserve to get paid more for the work they do. As the cost of living continues to increase, with no end in sight due to inflation hitting a 40-year high in February 2022, people are pushing for better work-life balance and higher wages. Most are tired of feeling overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated in the workplace.

With millions of employees taking a stand, many of whom have resigned from jobs to prove they're no longer going to accept the low pay for their hard work and effort, one would assume that companies would agree to compromise and raise hourly wages or offer more benefits. Unfortunately, however, that isn't the case for many organizations. Instead, the push for higher wages and better work-life balance appears to be encouraging some businesses to automate jobs at an even faster pace.

The Automated Job Era

While humans are the best choice for jobs in different sectors, such as education, law, healthcare, and the arts, others are being taken over by sophisticated robots and computers that can complete specific tasks faster and more efficiently. Employees at risk of losing their jobs because of advanced robots and computers include those in customer service, data entry, manufacturing, and courier services, to name a few. So, what does this mean for hard-working Americans? Facing the real possibility of losing a job that they've been loyal to for years or possibly even decades and getting replaced with a machine that can do the job just as good, if not better.

There was once a time when people thought jobs in customer service, such as fast-food restaurants and grocery stores, would never be automated, but technological advances are proving otherwise. For example, when you walk into your local grocery store, you may encounter several self-checkout machines, with many more stores following suit. Adding those self-checkout machines takes jobs away from cashiers, allowing organizations to save money instead of worrying about paying those higher wages that Americans want and need to afford the cost of living.

Will Things Ever Be the Same?

Some may say, "This too shall pass." However, once automation takes over, there is no going back. As organizations experience greater productivity rates from using automated robots or computers and increased savings due to hiring fewer staff members, they'll continue to push for automation, potentially displacing many people and leaving them without work. Of course, this will naturally have a negative impact on millions of people who depend on these jobs to make ends meet.

Although the chances of going back to the days before automation are slim to none, it's never too late for Americans to switch career paths. The best way to avoid a potentially disastrous situation is to get two or three steps ahead by finding meaningful work in industries that can't be replaced by automation, such as human resources, social work, event planning, and more. It's never too late for Americans to make the switch, especially if it means protecting their bottom line by ensuring they have a way to earn a livable wage.

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Colin Henderson
Colin Henderson
Jun 15, 2022

Fear of job losses to machines is nothing new. The Luddites infamously had the same concerns during the industrial revolution. But with machines came new and better jobs, plus enormous leaps in productivity that made the worlds population wealthier and healthier. What's interesting now is how jobs will be trimmed at both ends of the spectrum - front line administration will become a relic as companies realise they cannot afford to compete and do things the traditional way. As will the traditional roles of lawyers, doctors, and managers. Hopefully, what we will find is the sweet spot of collaboration between human, machine, and robot. Whether this herald's a new age of prosperity for all or an even greater concentrat…

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