There are lots of scare stories out there about computers and robots stealing our jobs.
But is this new? What about the thousands of farm hands that used to hand sow and cut fields of barley before the dreaded tractor was invented. Or the thousands of women that used to connect our telephone calls "back in the good old days" I dare say there was a lot of people complaining then about machinery taking over. But you certainly wouldn’t have seen so many posts about it!
So it's nothing new, it’s been happening ever since the wheel was invented. That probably put a few people out of a job too. And with a 3.9% unemployment in the UK, what are all these farm labourers, and telephone exchange workers doing? How did the horses feel when the automobile was built?
As technology moves on, old jobs disappear and new jobs are created. Some call this progress. Maybe there is a lot more money floating around in the 21st century, and business may be able to mobilise far quicker than they could back in the early 20th Century.
I may possibly be a little naïve to think that we’ll have time for people to find and develop new skills. But given that robotics still can’t really produce an entire car without human intervention, and those robots have been in use as early as 1961. It gives me some hope that things won’t happen as fast as the doom-sayers are prophesising.
And to hopefully put the final nail in the coffin… where the majority of this fear stems from is in fact misunderstood – read here
Anyway… if you're interested in the story of the "hello girls" and how they we all sadly replaced by automation, there's a link below. But (spoiler alert) sadly it doesn't tell you where they all are now.
The Post Office opened the first automatic exchange on the public network at Epsom in Surrey in May 1912. This was the same year it had obtained a near-monopoly on the provision of the country’s telephone service. It took decades for automatic dialling to roll out across the country. Installing an automatic exchange was expensive, and while savings were made by making operators redundant, it took time for this to generate cash.