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Preparing for 2025

a picture of toddlers in an amusement ride of tracked cars

Driverless cars, version 1.0

Pew Internet asked a bunch of experts about the coming wave of tech and what it may do to our lives. Will the new tech take jobs or make them?

“The other half of the experts who responded to this survey (52%) expect that technology will not displace more jobs than it creates by 2025.”

I’m solidly in the “make jobs” camp. History shows that human culture adapts and changes. New jobs are created with each technological advance. Why? Because standards change. My favorite example of this is the invention of the washing machine. It actually created more work because the standards of cleanliness went up. No longer was it acceptable to wear twice- or triple-worn clothes. We all needed more clothes and more washing to keep up with the changing standards.

Let’s imagine driverless cars. What standards will change when driverless cars are ubiquitous? I can imagine that children will be transported to and from school in driverless vehicles, but there will still be a need for one or more adult chaperones, perhaps professional schedulers who will cart your child to school, after school activities, then home. Driverless cars may make more time in our day, so more tasks will be expected to be accomplished. We’ll need to hire people to complete some of those tasks, just as we send out our dry cleaning now.

We don’t know what 2025 will look like, but we can clearly see the pictures the past has painted. The key now is to educate the future generations, to prepare them for a world that will surely look differently than it does today. What are some of the new jobs you can imagine coming into existence? Let me know in the comments.


For more of my writing about new tech, check out the following articles on purplecar.net:

Learning to Accept New Tech

Fear of Facebook: The Lifecycle of New Tech


Flickr photo by Henry Burrows