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Technology: Would it work in the Workplace?

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Technology: Would it work in the Workplace?

Parker Teters, Reporter

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As technology steadily advances, its capabilities grow and reach new feats once thought impossible. However what we also see is a wide range of jobs quickly become susceptible to machine automation, putting humans jobs in the firing line as companies seek to reduce costs and widen their profit margins.

Researchers at Beijing’s Intelligence Research Center have recently developed an algorithm capable of diagnosing cancer cells as, if not more accurate than a pathologist. According to an article published by inc.com, the algorithm is capable of diagnosing cancerous brain cells with an accuracy of 87% compared to a fully qualified pathologist’s 66%. With a 21% increase in accuracy that’s an estimated 28 million dollar difference from the staggering 133 million dollars spent in 2017 found in a study by iqvia.com, and the difference between life and death. But on top of the increased accuracy, there are other benefits far more interesting to executives and business owners. Computers don’t need pay, are always working, and only require being plugged into work, making them far more efficient than human workers.

Now of course that’s a single case in a single niche job, however, the trend towards machine workers are still quite apparent. In a study from statista.com, it was found that in 2013, there was an average of 25 robot workers for every 10,000 employees and by 2016, nearly tripled to 74 automated workers per 10,000 workers.

With workers ranging from menial laborers assembling iPhones all the way to pathologists requiring 8-12 years of higher education, jobs are quickly being overrun. William Ward-A sophomore at Olympia High plans on a future career in computer sciences. Ward seems to see a bright future in the way of automation, saying “More automation in some jobs will lead to a sort of industrial revolution, making some past jobs unneeded”. This future revolution could propose a solution to the recent remarkable decline in birthrates, dropping from 4.7 kids in the 1950s to roughly 2.4 in 2018 found in an article released by bbc.com. As future workforces begin to equal out, automation proposes an appealing alternative to continuing the growth of labor demands.

However many jobs and their workers actually benefit from computer labor. Audrey Pelczar-A sophomore at Olympia High plans on a future career in law, a field known largely for its slow menial paperwork and filing. Computers are able to sort and organize papers extremely effectively and can cut time down drastically. “Computers are able to automate file sorting and document writing”. And higher-profile law jobs remain far from the reach of computers in the place of lawyers or judges who need to make decisions based on sections of laws perhaps not specified clearly towards a certain situation.

So as technology advances to newer levels, accomplishing feats never thought possible ten or twenty years before, it’s important to see the possible impacts of these feats and how they might impact our society in the years to come.

 

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