Layoffs in the tech industry have hit about 300,000 in the past 15 months. While tens of those thousands of newly unemployed will never have to file for unemployment benefits, that is still a significant number of people (and families) that are dealing with high-stress situations.
The worry here is ‘social contagion’ - the idea that other industries and economic sectors will see the tech industry cutting its way to shareholder value/maintenance and getting serious FOMO – and then cutting their own workforces. (This Stanford prof called this ish about four months ago, btw.)
If you pair that jittery zeitgeist with a shaken financial/banking sector and the likelihood for a harder landing (aka recession) comes into full focus. The hope was a light, recession-esque recovery would flow through all parts of the economy without a hard landing. That’s now an unlikely outcome.
Bankrate’s chief financial analyst and economic expert, Greg McBride, disabused us of the idea a soft landing was possible. The Fed continues to push up rates because inflation remains stubbornly high. For some unknown reason, bankers just thought interest rates would stay, you know, flat … forever?!
On another topic, and for an uptick in optimism, artificial intelligence is not the Bogeyman that the clickbait/stupid/scary headlines would have us believe.
While some tech billionaires and entrepreneurs seem to embrace the idea of a social collapse and/or apocalypse, some others, like Nvidia’s CEO, are addressing our earth-bound issues with vim, vigor, verve, purpose and positivity. (Re-read the back half of that last sentence – that refreshing approach doesn’t come along often via Silicon Valley.)
Nvidia and Adobe are two companies at the forefront of helping society stay apace, if not ahead, of the foibles and falsehoods that artificial intelligence brings to our daily lives.
Good on them.
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