It seems that the World Economic Forum is proving me right. Last week in Davos, the Forum released some pretty terrifying numbers in a publication called “The Future of Jobs.” The report shows that if you earn your paycheck in a typical white-collar office and administrative job, you are most in danger of losing your job to an algorithm. Another “growth category” of job losses is identified as the Art, Design, Sports and Media category.
For me, those who currently hold a low-end media-buying and -selling role are prime examples of endangered jobs. They have relied heavily on Excel spreadsheets and other stand-alone technologies. But connected and real-time machine buying and selling is growing very, very fast, and it won’t be long before perhaps half of those currently working in this area find that their skills and roles will have been automated.
What is particularly problematic is that the growth of new jobs as a result of the fourth revolution is much smaller than the loss of jobs across the whole work force.
And sadly, we also learned last week that with all this automation, the baddies are still raking in big bucks through “falsevertising” — bots and other assorted fake views. The ANA forecast a global price tag of $7.2 billion for fraudulent impressions. At the same time, Global Web Index reported that in the fourth quarter of 2015, 38% of Internet users aged 16 to 64 surveyed said “I use ad-blocking tools to stop websites from displaying advertisements,” a jump of 10% from the previous quarter.
So while your job is being eaten by a machine, we are
using these machines as a potent weapon of mass advertising destruction.
Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates and Elon Musk are among a growing group of people who warn that the rise of the machine could very well spell the end of humanity. And although their warnings are mostly directed at military-grade robotic “killing machines,” there are a number of economists who warn us of the societal dangers of people not having jobs — or of having no access to an independent, diverse and free media.
Perhaps, though, we can find solace in the fact that total venture capital funding is slowing down somewhat. PWC and the National Venture Capital Association reported that although a staggering $58.8 billion dollars was invested in 2015, the fourth quarter saw a fall of 32% versus the prior quarter.
And an article from the Wall Street Journal this weekend reported that new venture funding in “fintech” (financial-technology — the category that was supposed to take traditional banking and finance apart) is an example of a category that has run into some headwinds, falling by 20% in Q4 of 2015.
Personally, though, I think that the banking and finance sector’s evolution toward more automation is simply slowing down because they started about a decade before marketing and advertising’s tech evolution did. So as some categories are slowing down, I think marketing and advertising automation is just getting started. It ain’t gonna be pretty…