The Robots Are Coming!

Surface Media's CEO offers his take on a current buzzword, idea, or trend.

We’re designing our way into a dystopian reality where robots are taking away our jobs. As you read this, one is being configured to replace you. It’s not a question of if, but of when. We’re no longer counting in years, but in months. Robots are developing cognitive responses and will soon be able to answer our emails, to always be one step ahead of us based on our behavioral patterns. We’re all to blame for this, because ambition and work ethic have been supplanted by lethargy and voyeurism, as the once-productive workers of our country post selfies and stalk social-media feeds. There’s an app or a gadget for almost everything these days, and many people today are loath to adopt the new tools they need to compete. They’re hoping time will slow down, and if they hold their breath for long enough, the boogeyman will go away. It’s this obstinacy that prevents most workers from finding their way to an advantage. But it’s not all doom and gloom—this isn’t the first time technology has disturbed the economy. Farmers are rare these days, but at the turn of the 20th century, 41 percent of the U.S. jobs were agricultural. Yes, the robots are coming, and to prosper will require new skills and an open mind.

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