The Software Society

How digital technology is changing our culture and economy


The Productivity Paradox: Efficiency without Jobs?

A core problem is largely being ignored—a “productivity paradox.” If a company can produce a product or service at less cost, that company has improved its productivity and potentially its profits. But, when a company improves productivity by reducing the number of employees, jobs disappear. For most of modern history, new categories of quality jobs appeared quickly enough to replace the jobs lost. Today, productivity improvements driven by accelerating technology development are destroying jobs faster than good jobs are being created. This leads to an economic problem rather than the boost that productivity has historically given the economy.

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It’s all about jobs

October 23, 2013 [Continuing discussion on themes from The Software Society: Cultural and Economic Impact (2013), by William Meisel] The latest employment numbers support my concern in The Software Society that the economy was generating too few jobs because companies were automating away jobs at a faster rate than individuals or the economy could adapt. […]

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How can you be part of “the next big thing”?

The Software Society and this blog claim that the “next big thing” driving technology expansion and economic growth will be a tightening connection between people and computers, largely through advances in language understanding technology (speech or text). The expected proliferation of general and specialized “personal assistants” that make us more efficient is one dimension of […]

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