Will people stay relevant in the future?

With tech advancing and the improvements of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), will people stay relevant?  Will we be employable?  This is a STEM blog and I advocate the use of technology and doing it well, but technology must not dictate a human’s day to day life.  Consider this phrase as you continue reading: PEOPLE AND TECHNOLOGY.


In a previous post titled “Will Automation take all our jobs” Dr David Autor (Economist at MIT) uses the example of the automated teller machine that would’ve supposedly made the job a human bank clerk obsolete.  However, the number of bank clerks have significantly increased.  Click through to this post for more on this topic.

Automation happens all around us and some studies have shown that countries with the highest degrees of automation actually has lower unemployment rates.


Endress+Hauser FMR62 radar level augmented on desk

Have you ever heard of AUGMENTED REALITY?  This is (for example) where you have an app on your phone which displays information or images overlaid on the view from your camera as the “background”.  Here is an example of a screen shot I took with of phone’s screen.  You can see a Radar Level Transmitter on my desk, but in reality there is nothing there but my desk.


In the same way that the advent of steam power, electric power and automation (three industrial revolutions) has augmented the physical capacity of humans in the pas, new advances in technology will augment our mental capacity (more on this in the embedded video below).

IQ plus EQ plus TQ

The idea of PEOPLE AND TECHNOLOGY really comes into play if you start to think about what will make people successful in the future.  I found the answer in a recent video I saw.  In this video a couple of sales leaders (each the author of at least one sales related book) discuss the use and impact of technology on the way we sell and the way we buy.

This video is one of the inspirations of this blog post and it contains a couple of nuggets, but these two points stood out for me:

  • It is not a question of ‘People OR technology’ but rather ‘PEOPLE AND TECHNOLOGY
  • To be successful (or employable for that matter) in the future, you will need IQ (intelligence), EQ (maturity) AND TQ (technical know-how)

Job displacement vs job loss

Searching for ‘Job Displacement’ on Google delivers a definition pointing toward an employer removing an employees position for whatever external reason.  Now, I believe in empowering people by teaching those who are willing to learn what I know – be it through experience or my own research.  Hence the existence of this blog.

I believe empowering people with the knowledge I have, frees me up to learn something new I didn’t know before.  in the light of this inherent belief, job displacement is something you can and should prepare for.  This can be in your own personal capacity or through facilitation of the company implementing new processes or technology.

If you are prepared for the change that gets implemented, you have ensured that you are ready to take on the new challenges that come with it because you can adapt.

People and technology

Like the previous three industrial revolutions, advancements in technology bring about improvements in efficiency and increases work output which frees us humans up to have more time to enjoy the things that really matter, but we need to be careful not to lose the human factor.

To tie up with Anthony Iannarino’s comment in the video about AI – it is very cool and it can HELP us with many complicated things, but it is a LONG way off from making humans redundant.  So cast your fear aside and utilise the technology to your advantage to improve quality of life for you and the people around you.

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5 thoughts on “People AND Technology

  1. We need some out of the box thinking for people in Cape Town who are unemployed due to the drought. There are, new opportunities.

  2. People has to remain ahead of AI, as human made AI so we have to know more what is required before AI take over and overpowers human intelligence. Robots and AI was designed and developed and is still developed by human. Their intelligence is limited to human intelligence, other than that their intelligence are not pure or professional.

    1. I agree – AI and robotics will always remain a human invention – no matter how much it advances. The question we need to keep in mind though is: How do humans sustain our existence in the face of awesome technology? I learnt this week that Gary Player says: “Change is the price of survival”.

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