In Malcolm Gladwell’s “Tipping Point” the spread of viruses is used to describe the way in which quiet social trends build below the surface until they either die off or they begin to snowball into massive social shifts.
Automation has been one of those slowly growing forces that has been changing the world quietly for decades. Example: the American car industry in the late 1970s produced and sold about 12-13 million cars a year with about 600,000 workers. Forty years later in 2015-16 about 17 million cars were produced and sold with about 400,000 workers.
It was that slow automation burn that punched through in the US election of 2016. Worker discontent with disappearing jobs – blamed on migration, but mostly fueled by the inexorable force of automation – changed voting patterns and changed the direction of the US in the world.
What’s the future? At the World Economic Forum, IBM’s Chair, CEO and President Ginni Rometty said, “I expect AI to change 100 percent of jobs within the next five to 10 years… as analytics and artificial intelligence change job roles at companies in all industries.” If she’s half right, Rometty is seeing AI and data analytics as the tipping point for what has been described as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Strap in, its going to be a bumpy ride unless you’re on the correct side of revolution. Source: CNBC; Bidwin analysis