Growth in Computer Processing
Early growth in computer processing had little effect on jobs, But as year goes by artificial intelligent had evolve to a point where it is able to think like a human as more and more large amount of new skills were being captured. With these robots, automation or software it is possible to replace people who’s worked in manufacturing industry, service industry or even agriculture industry. Since the notable advancement in computing technology which moves from improved industrial robotics to automated translation service. Andrew McAfee believes that these transition had becoming the reasons behind the sluggish employment growth of the last 10 to 15 years as the rapid technological change has been destroying job faster than it is creating them. (Andrew McAfee, 2012) Therefore, a new argument had risen over the years among employer and employees whether should companies should be responsible for the unemployment caused by their information system. Hence several ethical point of view had been brought up to response to this issue where from ethical egoism point of view believes that companies should not responsible for unemployment as with the information system they are able to benefit from a long term profit therefore this is a morally right action. But Kantianism point of view will be discussed throughout this article to respond to this issue.
Kantianism is a deontological ethical theory that concludes that the only good thing in the world that can be called good without qualification is a good will. (Michael J.Quinn, 2003??) This bring us back to the issue where should companies be responsible for unemployment caused by their information system. From Kantianism perspective, companies should be responsible for unemployment as Kantianism theory had pointed out that when ones struggles between what ones’ want to do and what ones’ ought to do, what ones’ want to do is no longer important. Ones should only focus on what ones’ ought to do (Michael J.Quinn, 2003). Therefore, the discussion below will look into several categorical imperative formulation that were proposed by Kant to have an in depth view to determine whether companies should or should not be responsible for from Kantianism perspective.
Categorical Imperative first formulation poses the basic conception of fairness and universalizability where there will be a consistent law that were tailored for everyone and not there cannot be one rule for me and another for everyone else. For examples, if a company starts to retrench employees that were caused by their information system and felt that it is ok for that company to retrench their employees by doing so companies will be denying and destroy the relationship between employees and employers where employees will lose trust in their employers as they might just get replaced anytime by Information System which leads them to lower productivity and the whole act of making them unemployed will be self-destructing. The desire for consistency will drives the first formulation where could companies retrench employee cause of their information system? Of course not, If every companies in the whole starts to implement information system and replacing their worker with it, it will cause an immense chaos to the world economy where 40% of low income manual labor will lose their jobs in United State and also shifting the bull’s eye onto the middle class workers where jobs like accountant might be replaced by software too. This would lead to severe loss of foundation income for their families where day to day expenses will be a huge problems for these families. (SHOULD ADD MORE IMPACT ONTO THE WHOLE SOCIETY LATER)Since if every company implements information system and causes unemployment, everyone would be unemployed which will disrupt the whole economy and lead the whole world to poverty all because of a personal interest. Therefore, it is wrong for a company to cause unemployment due to their implemented information system and company have to responsible for this issue that were caused by them solely for maximizing their profits.
Categorical Imperative second formulation can be seen as the act in such a way that you always
treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a mean but always at the same time as an end. (Michael Rohlf, 2010). Therefore, portrait that rational agency is to be valued for its own sake “as an end” and that it is therefore illegitimate ever to treat a rational agent merely as a means to an end. Looking back to the case study provided, by implementing information system and causing unemployment, company had treated their employees as a mean to an end. The company sacrifices the job opportunity of their employees in order to achieve a lower cost for their product and higher productivity but at the cost of retrenching their workers. It was wrong for the company to retrench their employees as the company is treating their employees as a working machine rather than a rational agent with whom they could work with and try to collaborate machines with human instead of replacing all of the employees to solely automations. According to Kant there are two types of beings one being known as persons and other known as things.(H.J Paton, 1964) A person consist of infinite worth whereas things have a finite worth and can be bought or sold. In this case, company had treated their employees as a ‘things’ instead of a ‘person’ as company weighs them as a finite worth and retrench them in order to achieve company’s need which is to obtain a low cost production and being able to maximize shareholder’s wealth. Therefore, company is responsible for the unemployment cause by implementation of information system as according to categorical imperative second formulation, there should be moral exchanges between parties, as each parties treat each other not solely as an object of instrumental value alone but as objects of intrinsic value too. Thus, company should recognize their employees as autonomous and rational human beings that are capable of willing freely and not upset or frustrate the freedom and autonomy of their employees by channeling forces or threats to retrench them just because their productivity is not on par as machines.
Categorical Imperative third formulation stated that all maxims as proceeding from our own making of law ought to harmonize with a possible kingdom of end. In lay man’s term it means that in considering morality, we need to imagine ourselves making law in a Kingdom of people who are ends in themselves and should not act selfishly or be swayed by emotions which in our case company implementing information system in their organization. Whilst these automation could help in increasing the overall productivity, lowering down total product cost and also results in a higher earning does not mean that ones have to do it, instead company should integrate or implement partial machines that could help in increasing the overall productivity. In so doing, these company will make law for rational people where when we are torn between universal moral laws (retrenching employees without any proper reason will cause upsets to them which will demoralized them and ending their source of income) and particular desires produced in us (implementing machines to maximizes profit), you find a rational solutions to aid the problems (inter-cooperate human and machines together) which does achieve a particular desires and does falling towards either side.
That said being able to look at several Kant’s point of view, we could conclude that Kant had several point of view where first formulation focuses on universalized rules where ones act only on that principle of action through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law where if rule is universalized, any companies that implemented information system will have to retrench their employees, employees loses their job and thus lowering the purchasing power which would results in more economy downturn. Therefore the rules is self-defeating and it company should be responsible for the unemployment caused by their information system. However, the second point of view focuses on looks into treating people as ends in themselves rather than means to ends. Therefore, company should not treat employees as a mean to end by retrenching them just because they had found a better substitute for them instead company should treat them as a rational people where collaborating them into catching up with new skill sets to work on other fields. Lastly, Kant’s third formulation states that in everything ones do and every autonomous action ones makes, ones is required to picture himself/herself as a person writing the law for a new kingdom where everybody must treat everybody else as end in themselves which company have to find a rational principle of act to solve the issue between maximizing profit and unemployment where it will harmonize both parties.
#Provide real world examples.