In a recent article on The Big Picture, the question of whether or not technology is beneficial for productivity is raised. While one might be quick to say that of course technology is good for productivity, you might be surprised. Robert Gordon, in his paper Is U.S. Economic Growth Over? argues that the third industrial revolution, composed of microprocessors, the Internet, and mobile phones, has been disappointing in terms of productivity when compared to the other two industrial revolutions.
Coupled with the lack of productivity, there is growing suspicion that technological growth will one day limit the scope of what humans can perform in the workplace. With jobs being filled by machines, one could say that productivity is moving in the opposite direction from where we would like it to go.
In addition to the downside of technology, many positive things have come about from the third revolution. The Internet has revolutionized knowledge transfer, communication is easier than ever, and more people are literate than ever before. With this being said, there are doubts and criticism on how technology effects productivity, but one thing is for sure; technology is expanding everyday, and by embracing it, we can surely find ways to be more productive.