As we celebrate Labor Day, artificial intelligence has become the new guy on the job. The working class has struggled with technology for a millennia. Artificial intelligence has always been a part of our job system as we continuously adapt to technologies that cause less physical stress to human labor. It’s not humans against machines, it’s humans against humans. It’s people behind those machines. If we want Labor Day to remain a humans holiday we must adapt to technologies and expand our own job responsibilities while making sure the government and company owners know humans are their cash cows.
Technology As A Physical De-Stresser
The Luddites destroyed labor replacing machinery and were hailed as saviors to the people for saving jobs. But didn’t machinery make hard labor easier. Just think about the insane amount of hours and back breaking physical mechanics humans used to produce textiles 150 years ago. You wouldn’t catch too many people asking to spin fabrics these days. Let the machines do it. Studies show three common means for work injuries-slips and falls, overexertion (lifting, speeds too high) and harm by contact with machinery or objects from machinery. Laborers can now buy boots and work shoes that are anti-slip, ergonomic and steel reinforcement based. These new technologies save peoples feet and jobs every day. Ford decreased work injuries by 70% using ergonomic technologically based assistance. Machines assist laborers on assembly lines in lifting, movement training and more. Companies can use technology to save more than money-they can save our health. Companies are creating new machinery to block flying objects and control the amount of contact for machinery use. Guards can be placed just about anywhere on a machine these days to prevent injury. But it’s technology that conforms the data with injuries to allow creation of such safeguards. Tech isn’t always the enemy when it ensures safety.
Labor Has The Right To Rise
How long have you been on your job? Do you know what would work better, what doesn’t work well and how to amend work processes? Then why is A.I. becoming the boss? Labor, no matter at what tier or level you are at, has the right to use their freedom of speech to present your own data. You know your job better than any computer, so you need to be the leader. Tell your immediate supervisor through an email. Always make sure emails include “cc’d” company owners or human resources, so you get the credit. Apply for the management position and relate your experiences on your resume. Make sure people know that you are in “the know”. Millions of people have worked up the company ladder by exposing efficiencies and inefficiencies of a company’s system.
As Forbes stated, A.I. can be unethical. Biased outcomes is surely a misleading basis for creating job duties. Human capability is not always combined in A.I. or machine driven data. The speed of a conveyor belt on an assembly line can cause injury if the laborers do not enforce restraints. Poultry plants and the meat packing industry have witnessed these direct injuries. Assembly line workers fast pace causes a slew of injuries not to mention quality control issues. We must speak up to ensure that our jobs and products are both high quality. Think of action steps you can take to make the job easier as a human.
Cash Cow Incentives
In the 90’s UPS witnessed global labor disruptions. From “blue flu” to an actual strike, these workers shut down commerce across the globe. The same can be done at any job. There are strikes occurring every day in every industry, union and non-union. Amazon is a remarkable example of A.I.s seamless flow of informatics in producing a quality experience for consumers. From the 1-click purchase to the same day delivery, consumers are satisfied. We can continue our increasingly busy lives due to stores like Amazon. But what we don’t share is the pace of the workers on those assembly lines. Do you know why? Jeff Bezos uses all the latest technology for lifting, picking and delivering. Tech is a key to their growth and our experiences. Just think if assembly line workers formally complained at Amazon. They could make changes that would ripple through entire industries. Those assembly line workers have more power to create a sustainable and high capability work environment than most. Workers don’t have to strike, there are a multitude of ways to present their data versus A.I. data. They must use their voice. Let’s never forget, we signed up for the jobs so it’s up to us to make them better.
It’s Us vs. Us
Technology isn’t a dividing wedge in politics, it’s a combining tool. People still have the power to maintain and expand any industry. From inventing new gadgets to designing job descriptions. We might feel uncomfortable about A.I. but it’s not going to leave any time soon. We must continue to use our voices to ensure Labor Day is for humans.