Contemporary Issues in Computer Science


Disappearing Jobs?



Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, technology has been displacing human workers.Until now, however, it has also created new jobs and our collective standard of living has been steadily increasing.


But today there is concern that something very different is happening.


Read the following three articles:



Now we want you to think about more examples, both of jobs that that will be the first to go and those that seem likely to be the last to go.Follow these links to see videos from the tv show How Itís Made:



1.     Watch at least four of the videos that youíll find there.What ones did you watch?


2.     Choose at least two of the videos that youíve watched.For each video youíve chosen, write a couple paragraphs that answer the following questions:

a.      What is being made?

b.     Try (as best you can) to estimate the, "ratio of human input", in dollars of pay per dollars of price. Briefly defend your calculation.

c.      Which (if any) tasks do you see being replaced by machines?How far in the future? Why?

d.     Are there some tasks that you think will be very hard to get done other than by people?Why?


3.     Summarize your results from question 2:

a.      What properties do the jobs youíve listed in part c share?Write one short paragraph.

b.     What properties do the jobs youíve listed in part d share? Write one short paragraph.