Service of Technology that Eliminates Industries and Jobs

July 17th, 2023

Categories: Photography, Technology


Image by Kellie Nicholson from Pixabay

Technology trashing industries is nothing new. There are hardly any attendants in NYC subway stations. Machines that feed customer MetroCards have taken over and soon, Metrocards will be dinosaurs replaced by smartphones and swipeable credit cards. [Don’t get me started on the benefits of subway attendants such as safety and providing travel information that kiosks don’t provide.]

Smartphones have killed the camera industry. Computers have deep sixed administrative assistants. ATMs have thinned out the ranks of bank clerks. And on and on.

I used to work with an amazing company that in hours whipped together a beautifully decorated set to display a client’s products. Carpenters, painters, upholsterers and designers as well as photographers worked their magic resulting in photos of spaces that illustrated design stories. The sets had only two walls but looked like they were taken in an apartment or home.

After a few days the client would approve the photos–as many as six to eight images of “rooms” featuring fabric, wallpaper or other products. They were used to send editors to illustrate decorating stories, in advertising, on in-store merchandising units and in product sample books.

The cost was a fraction of what working on location in a home would cost. Plus, you wouldn’t need the approval of the homeowners for decorative changes.

The company thrived until photoshop and other remarkable graphic design tools stole their lunch. Sitting at a computer a techie, using the image of a room, could change out/update the upholstery, wallpaper and flooring, for example. The company went belly up.

I chose this example because actors—especially extras—face a similar fate. They are on strike for many reasons but one is to protect them from movie producers importing facsimiles of their faces to use in other scenes by using AI, without compensating them. They want and deserve compensation.

In what other striking ways has technology impacted the lives of industries and employees/workers?

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

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4 Responses to “Service of Technology that Eliminates Industries and Jobs”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    Improvements in all manner of things have undoubtedly been replacing existing jobs for a very long time. Humans adjust. If they didn’t or couldn’t, we would undoubtedly be still living in caves or possibly gone extinct. Wig makers must have been terrorized as the numbers of folks who opted for natural coiffures became the norm. Wigmakers still exist, and a newer industry, hairdressing was born. Consider the plight of the blacksmith when cars became popular! Somehow, we manage to evolve, and will continue to do so. There has been and will be pain, but not for long.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    I wonder if the photo company could have salvaged some of its business had it copywritten the photos and taken over their digital transformation. It would not have helped the carpenters, seamstresses and designers put out of business. Sadly avatar technology may eventually take the place not only of extras but movie stars as well.

  3. Martha T Takayama Said:

    As Lucrezia progress means constant replacement of existing jobs. Electricity replaced candles and gas lamps. However the speed with which apparently hardly imagined opportunities created by artificial intelligence are arising seem to be overwhelming. They also are posing dilemmas which wreak havoc with many accepted ethical notions and concepts of labor law and individual rights. I don’t think we are able to clearly resolve these matters, and that we are entering a period perhaps even more confusing than the industrial revolution.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Martha,

    It’s the Wild West in so many areas of our lives and as technology gallops along it may be a long time before there are restraints on intrusion on our personal lives for starters.

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