Where the best jobs will always be

Johannes Gutenberg’s press, a converted wine press

Many people now fear that machines or a combination of electronic devices will eliminate their jobs when in fact they will create new and better jobs, as they have for more than two thousand years. For example:

o Compass (206 BC)
o Waterwheel (50 BC)
o Clock (725 AD)
o Printing Press (1450)
o Steam Engine (1712)
o Cotton Gin (1794)
o Reaper (1831)
o Steam Powered Train (1814)
o Computer (1822)
o Refrigerator (1834)
o Telegraph (1830-1840)
o Electric Bulb (1880)
o Three-wheeled Motorcar (1886)
o Airplane (1903)
o Transistor (1947)
o Artificial Satellite (1957)

As Tom Davenport explains in The AI Advantage: How to Put the Artificial Intelligence Revolution to Work (MIT Press October 2018), several technologies have developed products and systems that will, in turn, create millions of new jobs. For example, artificial intelligence (AI); sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT); autonomous machines — robots, cobots, drones, and self-driving vehicles; distributed leaders and blockchains; virtual, augmented, and mixed reality; and connecting everything and everyone: 5G networks and satellite constellations.

Within a year after Henry Ford introduced the Model T in 1908, four of the five top buggy whip manufacturers went out of business; the fifth thrived because it stopped making buggy whips and concentrated on automotive accessories.

Until now as well as in years to come, the best jobs involve humans working with machines. An ordinary human and an ordinary machine can out-produce an extraordinary human OR an extraordinary machine but not both together.

Key Question: “What is the given objective?” At least for now, only Mozarts can compose symphonies and only orchestras with a conductor can perform them.

The best jobs will always be in emerging industries, in companies that pounce on breakthrough innovations.


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