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I don't believe our technological advances will result in a depletion of jobs for humans. I know because any upgrade of my existing computer network involves hours of learning the upgrade process, purchasing required new components or software, and then trying to figure out how to get all the parts to mesh correctly. Then, when faced with the realization that I am way over my skill set, I call customer support, talk to a human about the issues (after getting through the automated menus), who then tells me to do the same things I already tried. Half of my attempts end up with me purchasing a whole new system and re-inputting the data.

This is not computers helping humans. It is humans servicing and supporting the computers. We won't lose our jobs to robots. The robots will employ us to service them. And by "employ" I mean they will allow us to live, survive and maintain a basic lifestyle as long as we do their bidding.

We are already slaves to technology. How long can you actually survive without your cell phone within two feet of your person? Do you experience anxiety when you've driven to work and then realize your phone was left at home? Can you carry on a conversation without checking your text messages? When was the last time you practiced long division with pencil and paper? That calculator app is just too close and easy to use, right? You are a slave!

Technology lulls us into thinking we are better humans by possessing and using technology. It shames us when we realize our computer is six years old, or our phone is three generations behind the latest and best devices. Worse, it just stops working if we don't feed it appropriately. My Mac network informed me that the latest version of my accounting software was not optimized for the computer upon which it was loaded. The latest Mac Operating System, Mojave, is the last to support 32-bit software. This means that all future software I use must be upgraded to use 64-bit computer architecture if I want to use the next version of Mac's operating system. While a pain in the carpals for us users, this does mean jobs for program coders and Chinese manufacturers. Or put another way, humans continue serving the technology.

I spent the last weekend replacing my network server and upgrading to the latest Mac system on all the workstations. Two of the computers were too old to accommodate the new Mac OS, so I took them out back and shot them. They were only eight years old! I then had to go to the Technology Temple, also known as Best Buy, and purchase new computers. While I was at it, I bought new monitors because my employees complain about the lack of high resolution on their old monitors. One workstation refused to accept the latest upgrade because it could not verify the disk. It told me to run Disk Utility. When I did, it informed me that it was fine. But it still wouldn't take the update. I put it on life support, hoping to get another year out of it before it too goes to that big Recycling Center in the sky. It took all of Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday morning to get the beast happy again, but I did it and my employees will benefit on Monday morning. Their happiness is increased because the technology is "new and better."

And The Technology is happy as well.

-- Devin Houston is the president/CEO of Houston Enzymes. Send comments or questions to The opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 01/16/2019

Print Headline: More technology, please!

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