Blog 50: Luddite Movement by Xavier Lo, FIA, FRM, MBA

A bit of a history [歷史] lesson today. Have you heard of the Luddite movement? Perhaps not, but I’m pretty sure you would know people who are joining the Luddite movement [盧德運動]! If I use a more familiar term, this is a movement which describes technophobes [技術恐懼症]. Or more simply, people who actively resist the development of technology.

Where did the name come from? Well, rumour has it that there was a worker named Ned Ludd who destroyed some machinery [機械] where he worked (perhaps out of frustration that his bosses wanted him to work harder). The original Luddites then used Ned as inspiration to destroy machinery back in the 1800s, where machines were very advanced technology for the days. They were doing this because they believed that the machines would take over their jobs [失業], or at least lower their salary [減人工]. With the modern-day, some people hate technology because they either are scared that technology might bring hidden negative consequences (someone is always spying [長期監視] on us!) or are afraid that they might not be able to keep up with new models.

Put this back to a financial world context. Have you worked in a company where senior management [管理層] talk about developing a new IT system? If so, think about who resists the most and who hates these ideas the most. Basically, the people who need to be involved in the development would dislike the idea (because they have to do this work on top of their everyday jobs), and the people who might be replaced by the technology would absolutely hate the idea. In other words, you need to be aware of team management [適當人士管理], and how to let your employees feel comfortable that they won’t be in a worse-off position after the implementation of your idea.

What’s the key message here? Well, as an actuary, keep upskilling yourself and learning new things so that you’ll never be replaced by technology. Afterall, you need a human being to control the machines!

Qualified fellow actuary (in UK and Hong Kong), Financial Risk Manager, and MBA graduate (listed on the Dean's List) with a passion for insurance, data science, and analytics. Experienced in a broad range of insurance roles (pricing, capital modelling, reserving, ERM), along with a touch of knowledge in banking. Member of the General Insurance Committee (2021), Actuarial Innovation Committee (2019 - 2021) in ASHK.

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