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Title: A war against the robots? Career guidance, automation and neoliberalism
Other Titles: Career guidance for social justice : contesting neoliberalism
Authors: Hooley, Tristram
Keywords: Neoliberalism
Vocational guidance -- Philosophy
Social justice -- Vocational guidance
Career development
Automation -- Human factors
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Hooley, T. (2018). A war against the robots? Career guidance, automation and neoliberalism. In T. Hooley, R. G. Sultana & R. Thomsen (Eds.), Career guidance for social justice : contesting neoliberalism (pp. 93-108). London: Routledge.
Abstract: Edmund Cooper’s The Uncertain Midnight expresses a deep concern with automation and artificial intelligence. Published 60 years ago, this sciencefiction novel tells the story of John Markham, a twentieth-century man, frozen in suspended animation, who wakes up after 150 years to find Britain transformed into a leisure society enabled by intelligent androids. What initially appears to be a utopia is quickly revealed to be a decadent dystopia in which human life is robbed of all meaning. John sets about fomenting revolution to overthrow the robots and return to a society centred on the Protestant work ethic. Cooper’s novel reminds us that concern about the role that automation and artificial intelligence play in our society is not new. Nocks’ (2007) history of the robot suggests that this fascination goes back at least as far as the ancient Egyptians. Robots hold out the twin and interlinked possibilities of replacing human drudgery and replacing humanity. We have always been excited about the possibility that something else can take over doing the things that we do not enjoy, but fearful that they will also take over the things that we do enjoy. A concern with the availability of work and its psychological and social value lie at the heart of career guidance. Given this, it is surprising that automation, artificial intelligence and robotics have been given scant attention in the recent career guidance literature. If robots can transform the nature and extent of human work, career guidance needs to attend to this transformation carefully. At the very least, it should be able to help individuals to navigate their way through any such transformations by making wise choices about education, training, work and leisure. In this chapter I will also argue that career guidance has a critical role in helping individuals to think about the way in which society is changing, who is benefiting from such changes and to consider both individual and collective responses to such changes.
ISBN: 9781138087385
Appears in Collections:Career guidance for social justice : contesting neoliberalism

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