The Big Mistake: How People are Thinking About Technology

Posted by Thomas Stoker on Jan 7, 2019 5:30:00 PM
Thomas Stoker

800 million.

According to a recent study, that's how many workers could be displaced by 2030 thanks to automation and artificial intelligence. These stats can be scary, and they tend to flare up heated debates around technology and its role in our work force.

Is it fair that some of the wealthiest companies in the world are creating technology that saves them money while eliminating jobs?

If automation takes away 800 million jobs, what happens to those workers?

Although it's easy to forget, this isn't the first time our economy was overhauled by technology. Let's take a step back and review how the world adapted to the Fourth Industrial Revolution's predecessor.


IBM team


The man who predicted Apple and Microsoft

Over four and a half decades ago, in 1972, Future Shock became a bestseller. Author Alvin Toffler was a futurist with a profound instinct for man’s less than perfect world. His insights darkly foreshadowed the acute sociological changes that were happening long before Apple’s Steve Jobs came onto the scene in '76 and Microsoft’s Bill Gates joined the conversation in late '78. This was long before today’s engineers feasted on artificial intelligence (AI) and began advancing technology at an unprecedented rate.


Future Shock cover


Are we ready for technological singularity?

Are we ready for the onslaught of change that could very well outstrip our mental capabilities? For some the answer is a strong “yes." For many, it is a definite “no”.

My opinion is that AI, computer vision, machine learning, and security robots can and will work well together with their human counterparts. Delivering smart and affordable security solutions in a brave new world.

The technology evolution is a fast paced “revolution” with AI at its center. It's out-of-the-box thinking, the New Paradigm, and disruptive technology, all wrapped up into one package.

President Obama discussed the coming technological singularity with Wired Magazine 2016:

“One thing that we haven't talked about too much... is we really have to think through the economic implications. Because most people aren't spending a lot of time right now worrying about singularity—they are worrying about, 'Well, is my job going to be replaced by a machine?'"

With every new tech innovation, your perspective depends on how you relate to the Future Shock dilemma and anticipate how change at breakneck speed will impact future workforces.

Are robots going to take over? Find out.



Humans can adapt with technology

In the movie Hidden Figures, women played the role human calculators, and their jobs became obsolete when IBM brought the first 7090 computer to NASA. These computers delivered a vast improvement over the human calculators, however it required knowledge of Fortran’s software language to successfully operate. Without that, you were looking at an expensive lump of metal surrounded by IBM folks that couldn’t make it work.


Hidden Figures


Dorothy Vaughn was the head of the human computing department at NASA at the time. She saw the opportunity to evolve with the change. She taught Fortran to herself and her team, and thereby created a new job category and genre. This ushered in the beginning of the software programmer profession, which was a more rewarding, and higher paying position.


Mary Jackson at NASA


It's a tool. Not a replacement.

And so it goes with security AI and robotics.

An officer that was head of security in San Francisco came to our booth at a Micron Insight event. When he laid eyes on Nimbo, our autonomous security robot, a look of gloom and doom immediately set in on his face.


Nimbo at ISC East


“I just wanted to see what was going to take my job,” he murmured.

"Uh-oh," I thought to myself. "Time to turn this ship around."

I went on to show him our iOS interface and how easy it is to use and monitor the footage from each robot and camera. At the end of the day, the robots are simply a tool that allow security officers to cover far more area, help more people, and make places safer for all.


How do you balance driving innovation and making a profit?



Future Shock and the challenges of rapid change is the sociological cage we build around ourselves. It's the imaginary box that traps us into thinking technological progress is a zero sum game that results in displaced workers.

If we are to expand our thinking, we can win the day by using cost-effective resources that enable us to do more, faster, and far better.




The promise of a safer and more secure world with the assistance of robots is here. You just have to think out of the box, grow with change, smile at the opportunities to evolve in your job, and drive for greater efficiencies and improvements.

I call it human social programming, and it may be our last true frontier.



Topics: Automation, Autonomous, Emerging Technology, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Technology, Technology Trends, Nimbo, IoT devices, Deep learning, Machine learning