Google Android robot.

Job-Saving Technologies

This is an age of anxiety about the job-killing effects of automation, with dire headlines warning that the rise of robots will render entire occupational categories obsolete. But this fatalism assumes that we are powerless to harness what we create to improve our lives – and, indeed, our jobs.

SAN FRANCISCO – This is an age of anxiety about the job-killing effects of automation, with dire headlines warning that the rise of robots will render entire occupational categories obsolete. But this fatalism assumes that we are powerless to harness what we create to improve our lives – and, indeed, our jobs.

Evidence of technology’s potential to help resolve our job concerns can be found in online talent platforms. Digital platforms already have transformed many parts of the economy. The online marketplaces built by Amazon and Alibaba, for example, have reshaped the retail landscape, partly by changing the local nature of retail markets.

Online talent platforms apply a similar approach to the world of work – with a similar impact. By creating regional, national, and even global job markets, they allow employers to tap into broader talent pools and connect job seekers with a wider universe of opportunities. In this way, they have transformed the typical job search, and are now approaching the critical mass needed to move employment numbers.

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