The impact of technology on various aspects of our lives can be seen everywhere we look. Starting from our homes we see how technology has made it that with the press of a button or switch a bulb lights up the room. You put a slice of bread in a small machine and it gets toasted within minutes. In hospitals we see inventions that are helping us to diagnose illnesses, take body temperatures and perform operations. In Astronomy, there are machines that assist in complex calculations leading to discoveries in space that have helped in interplanetary travels and findings that helps in defining our relationship with the universe.
These are worthwhile inventions that are making our lives easy and meaningful. Other technologies that make it easy for us to live our lives include robots in industry and manufacturing. Most car manufacturing establishments and indeed the modern industrial base in developed and developing economies, rely on machines to move and structure manufacturing designs that may be too tasking for humans to work on. We‘ve noticed as time passes, that the use of such machines have not only increased in aspects of the production process where they are absolutely needed but also in areas where it would just be fine to allow human labor to carry out the tasks.
In towns and cities for example, we see the prolific use of machines and scanning technology in entry and exit points of shopping centers. They have effectively replaced or are helping with the security of goods and services, which otherwise would have been provided by human labor. The story is the same in the payment and check out sections where the Tills have been fitted with automated machines that receive payments, issue change and receipts to customers. The idea has become fashionable that many have lost jobs to the increasing use of technology in the work place in an era where commercial profits have become the imperative for many business owners. The motivation stems from cheaper and faster turns around time in production.
While it can be argued that the global economic slowdown may not have been as a direct result of lay-offs due to technology replacing humans in the work place, it nevertheless contributed to the state of affairs. The fear is that this trend may continue and lead to further layoffs and detoriation of the economic slow down that people in various countries are already experiencing.
There should be work for people to engage and humans must work in order to survive. Apart from work giving us the opportunity to earn a living, it offers fulfillment and satisfaction to individuals who find themselves in a job they cherish. It enriches value and meaning to everyday living. Am not advocating here that the use of robots or machines in work places be abolished, far from it, rather one would like to see automation used only at appropriate designations to allow for effective use of persons in the work place.
If there are no jobs from which to earn a living, we would be in difficulty of getting money to finance our needs and many people are out of jobs at the moment. This means less cash or non-at all and therefore less exchange of goods and services, which can lead to system collapse.
Imagine a situation where majority in many countries has no jobs and social services are incapable of doing anything about their financial needs. We can already see from mass economic protests in countries like Greece, Spain and Portugal that it won’t be fun if a wider circle of resistance from within more countries were to erupt at the same time. It can only mean the failure of global monetary policies and therefore a need for world leaders to meet and re-define new ways that we must live as well as alternatives for mutual exchange of goods and services other than money.