Automation now supplants economic activity more than it supports it. Furthermore, this process is fueled by enormous economic forces, which intensifies dependence on automation and spawns other sociological consequences. Of these consequences, fraud generates the highest immediate losses, amounting to $300 billion annually. In the long run, however, the greatest economic cost will occur through loss of jobs, and a lowering of net skills for most of the balance. Other consequences include pervasive invasion of privacy, and overdependence on technology at the expense of developing critical reasoning, judgement, and a personal sense of responsibility. Fortunately, many of these consequences could be ameliorated by automated countermeasures that offset the excesses. Unfortunately, it usually takes a crisis to institute fundamental reform, though the looming economic meltdown stemming from the mounting federal debt offers just such an opportunity.
About the Author:
GEORGE M. HALL teaches Computer Science and Sociology at Pima Community College. He is the author of more than 10 books, six on the subject of computer technology, including Systems, Strategy, and Integration (1990) and Image Processing (1991). His book, The Fifth Star was published by Praeger in 1994.