My book was Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
The story revolves around a fireman named Guy Montag. He lives in a futuristic dystopian society where fireman don’t put out fires, but instead start them to burn books as literature of the past is banned. Everyone in this society is mindless, they don’t question anything around them and they just basically sit around and watch TV all day.
Montag becomes frustrated by how no one thinks uniquely and he begins to rebel against the system by reading books that he’s supposed to burn. In the end, he is caught but he fights his way out of capture and escapes to the outskirts of the city, where he meets other intellectuals like him.I decided to focus on futuristic technology as my topic and came up with this thesis:Humans should not be afraid of automation as technological advancements are a part of our society’s evolution, not designed to overrule us but to increase our overall standard of lifeSo why is automation good? Firstly, automation will actually boost the economy and our standard of livingI will talk about how automation improves our standard of living and gives us better access to luxuries and goods that give us an extra level of comfort.
Most people think that in order to buy more stuff and lead a better life, they need to have an increased salary but most people don’t think of the other way to achieve this and that is by lowering the cost of that stuff. This means that we can buy more of something with the same wages.Machines make this possible because they make the manufacturing process much faster and efficient. Machines don’t get tired and they don’t need to take any time to think about what they are doing because they are programmed to complete the same task over and over again.
This eliminates human error because these machines are almost perfectly calibrated to accomplish their jobs. As well, these machines are cheaper than a human employee because we don’t need to pay them salaries, benefits or vacation days. With all the money companies save in the production process, they are able to substantially lower the costs of goods.
So we know that automation creates a better living standard for people as they can afford more things to improve their lives, but you’re probably thinking “What about the people who just lost their jobs? Won’t automation result in a society with extreme unemployment?”We’re going to do an activity that should help us visualize how automation benefits employment.This is an activity that is going to recreate what happened when McDonald’s replaced cashiers with their self-serve kiosks. I’m going to assign everyone a role – you are either employed or unemployed.
Now I want all the employed people to go to the side of the room with the windows and all the unemployed people to go to the side of the room with the door. This is how employment looked at McDonalds before they introduced the kiosk and now let’s run through a couple events to see how things change. Here’s the first event. McDonald’s has introduced the self-serve kiosk. They replace 10 of you with kiosks and now you’re out of jobs.
Please walk to the other side of the room. This is what people thought would happen – jobs would be lost permanently and unemployment would increase but that was not the case. Here’s the second event that happens. McDonald’s sales have soared! They need more workers because they are getting more customers. They are now hiring 2 workers for every one that they let go. That means McDonald’s is hiring 20 of you unemployed people.
So move to the other side. Now this is the outcome of our activity and real-life as well. Jobs were lost at the beginning but because of increased sales thanks to the kiosks, McDonald’s hired more people to deal with their higher demand. This leads to my next point.
..My next point is that automation will not result in mass unemployment, if anything it will promise greater employment for the future.To understand why automation won’t create an unemployment crisis, let’s take a look into similar events that occured in the past.The first event I want to talk about is the introduction of the ATM to bank branches. When ATMs first rolled out to branches across the US in 1970s, people feared that a lot of bank tellers would permanently lose their jobs but they were wrong.
The average bank branch required 21 tellers but with the ATM, that was reduced to 13 tellers per bank. However, with these ATM machines, the operating cost of a bank branch was reduced and that allowed the banks to open more branches across the country. As more branches were being built, the demand for human bank tellers increased and more jobs were created as a result. Here is a graph that shows the amount of bank tellers as time progresses. You can clearly see an upward trend showing that jobs were not lost. But as technology evolved, so did the definition of a bank teller.
Nowadays, bank tellers don’t handle physical cash as much but have more of a marketing and customer service role. So what we can see here is that although automation does more and more work for us, we still manage to create more jobs than before and this is a paradox.The next example I have is the boom of automation in agriculture around the 1920s and 1930s. At the time, around 40% of all employment in Canada was in farming but now, thats about 1.5%.
With the mechanical innovations of the early 1900s, farming became more efficient and required less human labour which in turn resulted in less jobs. The industry of farming is not the only one as this scenario can relate to workers in factories or fast-food. We can clearly see from this that automation can eliminate jobs, but that does not mean employment of the future is ruined. We are an innovative species, and that means we are constantly inventing new jobs in industries we could not imagine in the past. Although we are creating new jobs, historic trends show us that these new jobs require more advanced skills and education than before. This does not mean we are cutting out people who don’t have these skills, it just means that education must advance to meet standards of the future.Going back to the 1900s, when the US found that their population was not prepared for industry, they started the “high school movement.” The US made it mandatory for kids to stay in school until 16, giving them the necessary knowledge to move onto futuristic jobs in industry.
As we can see in this graph, high school enrollment and graduation rates substantially increased. The unemployable population of the past was transformed into one that leads one of the most prosperous economies of the world because they chose to value education and prepare themselves for the future. Now, I am going to show you two more graphs that outline how our society is moving towards greater standards of education. This first graph shows the global literacy rate. As time passes and education becomes more valuable, more and more people gained basic literacy skills, creating a population that is better prepared for harder jobs. But now, we are realizing that basic literacy just isn’t enough. High school and post-secondary education is necessary to prepare us for more complicated tasks in industry and as this next graph shows, that is the direction in which we are headed.
The percentage in people who complete high school increases substantially, going from 8.4% to 37.2%. Similarly, the percentage of people who complete post-secondary education goes from 2.75% to 34.2%.
These figures show us that more and more people choose to further their education because it becomes necessary for advanced jobs. We can see that the uneducated population decreases, showing us that we can certainly move towards a future where there are less and less people who only hold qualifications for extremely basic jobs.All of this shows us that automation can certainly eliminate jobs, but that does not mean people cannot rise up and evolve to meet the more complex challenges we will face in a futuristic world. But some of you are probably thinking that this time is different than before because we have artificial intelligence.
That leads me to my final point, the fundamental concept of what we face currently is no different from what we have faced before.Here’s one example of people who feared technological advancement. During the Industrial Revolution, the Luddites protested against machines that automated the weaving process because they thought everyone would lose their jobs and this would create mass poverty. We know that was not what happened and we can relate the industrial revolution to what we are encountering today.
In the 1800s, they created electricity or “artificial power” and what they did with this “artificial power” was add it to machines to make them faster and more efficient. This innovation led to the jobs and industries we see today – something people of the 1800s couldn’t even begin to imagine. Similarly, we are creating something new – not “artificial power” but “artificial intelligence.
” We can add this intelligence to machines and software to make tasks faster and more efficient. What could end up happening is a new technological revolution, which will replace jobs we have now with new industries and careers that we can’t forecast. The scariest thing about all of this is that we can’t predict the future, so we have no way of knowing for sure how the future will progress.
But one thing is for certain, we will not create robots to overrule us because that defeats the dominant nature of our species. We will only use them to compliment the skills we already have and make overall life easier and of a better quality.So now I am going to address why you should care. It’s pretty obvious. Automation is a concern of the future workforce and we will be that future workforce. It’s very important that we understand how employment as a concept is evolving and we should plan our career paths accordingly.
My arguments said that automation will not ruin our lives and destroy our livelihoods and society needs to understand that if we are to advance, we need to accept automation and AI as a new way of life. Everyone in the classroom will be part of an unimaginable future and we need to make sure that we are accepting of new technologies because whether you like it or not, that is the direction we are heading towards.Works Cited”Common Menu Bar Links.
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