To what extent has technology had a negative impact on the skill levels of people?

YES: Technology has generated irreversible economic and social changes across societies, creating significant and negative shifts in the skill levels of people.

  1. Technological advances causes shifts in how some professions are practiced, leading to the loss of some valuable skills in favor of others, such as the replacing the traditional jet-fighter pilot with drone pilots in the defense sector, which many defense analysts have criticized as desensitizing pilots from the necessary act of killing others to defend one’s country.  

  2. Technological advances encourage over-reliance on them in many areas of individual and daily life, such as GPS systems for drivers, leading to a deterioration of our individual judgment. 

  3. In various educational and academic endeavors, reliance on technological innovations leads to deterioration of core skills relevant to important activities and higher incidence of dubious or directly harmful practices, including excessive usage of internet sources in undergraduate research and online plagiarism.

NO: Technology has generated complex economic and social changes across societies but erosion in the skill levels of people are balanced by more positive developments in the shifting or even improvement of skills.    

  1. Rather than irrevocably destroying skills, technological advances build on existing skills and help workers improve work processes and practices, enhancing their economic productivity and value across a wide range of economic sectors including manufacturing, engineering and food processing.

  2. In these cases, technology assists workers in transiting their skill-sets from a labor-intensive base to a knowledge-intensive one.

  3. Technological innovations sharpens our judgment and decision-making processes in various aspects of daily life, such as precise timer settings on microwave ovens, helping many who lack natural aptitudesin some tasks to perform them to acceptable levels of competence.

  4. Many modern academic endeavors are facilitated by the use of advanced technology, such as the use of supercomputers in complex calculations, and demand a correspondingly higher level of skill in their usage which researchers willingly undertake and accomplish, thereby raising the overall level of research and knowledge creation.