The Issues Surrounding Automation in Our Modern World

Last Updated: 12 Mar 2023
Pages: 4 Views: 100

“The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don't really even notice it, so it's part of everyday life.” When you imagine the advance of technology in the short term, you fail to see the advances. Advances in technology are not smart engineers creating technology today and a new iPhones comes out tomorrow that implements it, it is last decades technology becoming cheaper and smaller so that it can fit in an iPhone and that millions of people can rely on it every day. Innovation doesn’t exceed expectation, implementation exceeds expectation. The same advances seen in phones are being seen in automation.

The idea for self-driving cars has been around for decades, and working prototypes have been developed in the most recent one. As with iPhones, the innovations being made everyday are not loaded onto every Tesla car the next morning, they are thoroughly tested and eventually implemented into test software, test cars, and test subjects. Because of this long, extraneous process, we will certaining not all wake up one morning with self driving cars and a utopian society. However, the advance is on the horizon, coming quicker than anyone can expect. The problem many people think of is that self-driving cars have to be perfect, getting in no accidents, even ones that a human driver could not prevent themselves. However, is should be well noted that human drivers kill 1.3 million people every year from road crashes. When self-driving cars exceed the expectation of being better than human drivers (which they already are, just not in the public eye), there will be many more innovations in the field. This spiral of innovation and exceeding expectation always leads to more innovation.

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The problem many see with innovating the transportation industry is the massive amounts of jobs associated with it. The trucking industry totals around 3.5 million professionals in the United States alone. Imagine a single piece of software combined with the correct hardware that could automate a 800 mile trip from a Port in New York to a town in Kentucky. This industry alone would incite hundreds of shipping companies to the idea of automating the process. There would be less accidents, more profit, and less lawsuits. Once again, when automation exceeds expectation, especially when large corporations are involved, innovation occurs.

This may seem like a big deal, but it is only the beginning of what is to come. There are many other types of automation that will also be expanded and developed more in the future. Jobs will be lost, especially office and paper based work. These jobs certainly are important to our economy, but it should be well assumed that any time technology advances, the quality of labor that people have to do intuitively and dramatically increases. The best way to imagine this is to imagine a pair of Luddite Horses discussing the expansion of “Cars” in the 1900’s.

One horse complains that jobs have dramatically decreased since the release of this invention, because they are less in demand. What this horse fails to see, and what the other horse reminds him of, is that the jobs they get to do now are much easier. While a horse in the 1850’s had to ride across the nation to deliver mail, drag ploughs across crop fields, and even ride into battle for human wars, horses in this new era simply act as fun experiences for human riders. Their lives got easier as automation exceeded expectation. This metaphor allows us to see that, while jobs may be lost in the extraneous process, as a species, automation can only be good, creating better and more innovative jobs for humans to do, replacing office and labor jobs.

Understanding that the outcome is beneficial is only the first step. The process by which we come to this reality is the next. Simply innovating at full speed will get us there quicker, but will cause an uprise in the industry, especially transportation. Instead, what needs to be done is the migration of jobs from transportation directly to managing and overseeing the first steps of this automation process. Especially in the first decade, the process of automation will be slow and painstaking as governments attempt to create laws around an entirely new field. During this time, human drivers can oversee an automated car, learning and documenting behavior that can be corrected as they are developed. However, we must understand that the end result will not be new jobs, it will be easier ones.

“Ultimate automation... will make our modern industry as primitive and outdated as the stone age man looks to us today.” While what was described above seems to be an overall positive for society, automation is still a major problem if we are not prepared to deal with it. When many jobs become obsolete due to technology, we will need more skillful workers, rather than large numbers of them. We have to shift our current view of society from lots of workers serving other people everyday, to skilled workers ensuring that the robots that serve people everyday are running smoothly and correctly. Once we free our minds from remembering how to make a double cheeseburger day in and day out, and instead focus on how to make a robot to do the same thing, we know that we have succeeded, and that automation has truly exceeded expectation.


1. What is the author’s view on automation? How does his background lend to this point of view?

2. What is the thesis of this essay? What sentence/paragraph is this best expressed?


1. How does the title relate to the final sentences of paragraphs 1, 2, and 3?

2. Is this essay primarily opinion or fact? Why? How does the author use his own views to prove his thesis?

3. How does the author criticize the public's opinion of automation in the second paragraph? How does this add to the essay as a whole?

4. The example of luddite horses in the fourth paragraph is significant. Why does the author include this example, and how does it directly/indirectly relate to his thesis?

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The Issues Surrounding Automation in Our Modern World. (2023, Mar 12). Retrieved from

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