Are Machines Really Taking Our Jobs?

A brief history of technological progress and why it's not necessarily a bad thing

More

This episode of Economics in Plain English tackles the pervasive fear that technology is making humans (or at least human work) obsolete. How long before the robots take over the jobs we do today -- and is it time to panic? Not just yet, senior business editor Derek Thompson explains in the video above. Decades of film footage from the Prelinger Archive illustrate the steady march of progress in America, from farms to factories and beyond, all thanks to technological innovation. Machines have been doing more and more of our work for us since the industrial revolution, and that's not a bad thing.

Don't miss Thompson's introduction to the project and the previous installments answering the questions, "Why is bottled water so expensive?" and "Are bottomless drinks good business?"

"Something Elated" is courtesy of Tom Cascino of Broke for Free. Check out more of his music here.

Jump to comments

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In