Robots today are already capable of designing programmes, writing, speaking, walking, cooking, preparing drinks, navigating cars, ships, aeroplanes and a million other activities! Will they be able to take all our routine jobs? Will we be able to cope with and tolerate their artificial intelligence? Will employers invest in robots or in skilling, upskilling and reskilling of their human capital? If cost-effectiveness is an indicator to go by, then in several jobs’ robots are cheaper, ‘loyal’ servants and hard-working, efficient and highly productive. How will this phenomenon impact on vocational education and training? No matter how hard it is to imagine such a situation in workplaces or in learning institutions, the truth is that technology, robotics, artificial intelligence and the internet of things are presenting several challenges to human beings particularly those in charge of skilled young people.
An Old Story
So the robots are coming for our jobs, are they? That’s such an old story. Goes back to Elizabeth I and the stocking frame, if my memory serves me right. Machines have been taking our jobs forever. But economists, despite their reputation as practitioners of the “dismal science”, have always been upbeat about that. Sure, machines destroy jobs, they say. But hey, the new industries that new technology enables create even more new jobs. Granted, there may be a bit of “disruption” between destruction and creation, but that’s just capitalist business as usual. Besides, it’s progress, innit?
Conference about Robots, Human Capital and Digital Learning
European Forum of Technical and Vocational Education and training (EfVET) invites for an International Conference about “Robots, Human Capital and Digital Learning” in October 2019. The conference will address a number of questions that arise from the impact of technology on learning and working. The rapport between robots, human beings and vocational education is imminent and perplexing. For more information click here: https://efvet-conference.eu/
Lucubrate Magazine August 2019