Re: 4.4 Million Jobs?
Brian: Technology both creates and destroys. The increase in "efficiency" of which you spoke relates to fewer people doing the work of many. But the technology is designed, manufactured and distributed by people, too, which creates jobs. On a social perspective, it is important to find the right balance.
For example, if manufacturing jobs in the US are replaced by robotic machines, unemployment rises, wages fall, and the overall economy will suffer. The manufacturer may see reduced costs and higher profit, but demand may suffer because there are fewer people who can afford the finished product. So the company may suffer, too.
With big data, it may create new jobs for data analysts, software makers, and sales pesonnel among others. On the other hand, it may reduce the need for market researchers, demographers and other specialists. The net effect on local economies in the US, Europe or Asia is difficult to estimate at this point because the field is still so new, but it is extremely hard to believe it will generate 4.4 million jobs by 2015 because that is about how many jobs the US would hope to create in total during that period.