Una Mullally: Automation will wipe out the gig economy

Workers will be crushed, clinging to the most precarious jobs

Drone company Manna has announced it is partnering with Flipdish  with a view to fast-food drone delivery by the end of the year in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Drone company Manna has announced it is partnering with Flipdish with a view to fast-food drone delivery by the end of the year in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Not so long ago, hiring a person to deliver something was a luxury. Couriers were the preserve of offices needing important documents sent somewhere fast. But now, many of us use a network of personal delivery drivers and cyclists to get what we want – a team of people at our disposal who bring food, books, grocery shopping and more to our doors. 

The gig economy, a buzzphrase for the patchwork of work many people have to put together in order to survive, given how job security has decreased, is seen as both a symptom and consequence of a world in flux; where entire industries can crumble when undercut by digital change, where job titles are invented, bubbles inflated and money made and lost at neck-breaking speed.

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