Technology may hinder job growth (and change medicine)

IBM extends its Jeopardy-winning Watson supercomputer into Medicine and other industries

I talk to lots of jobseekers who can’t find jobs with benefits, especially if they’re seniors over age 55, so I found this Reuters article, Rise in machines may hinder job growth, especially interesting and added the following comment.

Extend Moore’s Law out 50 years and consider the labor implications of futurist predictions that could all happen in our lifetime. By 2013, a supercomputer (e.g. IBM’s Watson) will have the reasoning and processing capacity of the Human Brain. By 2023, a $1,000 home computer will have that power; and by 2037, a $0.01 embedded computer will. By 2049, a $1,000 computer will have the power of the human Race; and by 2059, a $0.01 computer will. Imagine the labor (and healthcare) implications. Google today only searches and finds information. It doesn’t interpret it or turn it into insight. It’s not self-aware, yet. And other nations are advancing broadband Internet faster than here, which enables offshore outsourcing. Since there are already much faster connections to India than Indiana, all US knowledge-based jobs are at risk, including lawyers and radiologists, but maybe not politician jobs, since they arguably aren’t knowledge based.   :-)

In Lessons from Healthcare Innovation in India, this nation has found ways to serve a large, poor and rural population with limited resources (doctors are scarce: 1 per 100,000 people versus 1/160 in the U.S.). But India’s innovation was mostly due to process engineering, rather than technology per say. I can only imagine the results when both are combined and then reflect on the labor force questions posed by the Reuters article (and the future of healthcare).

How do you think tech innovation will affect healthcare and jobs? Weigh in with a comment below.

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