“Automation of the Workplace,” Lauren Fotta and Halle Uveges (2014) — Inquiry 4


           For Inquiry Four, we chose to recreate the Inquiry Three regarding technology and machines taking over various middle class jobs. As we continue to develop and create new technology, and continue to incorporate it into the workplace, we see a pattern of middle class jobs disappearing. The reliance on machinery to do jobs for us could potentially be beneficial, therefore boosting productivity and efficiency. However, by rapidly incorporating technology into the workplace, it may be counteractive, allowing it to take over more jobs than it would create. By creating a video through a program called Final Cut Pro, we are able to visually show the audience different examples of how the takeover is happening in the workplace. We are also able to utilize the advantages a video gave us, by using pictures, video clips, and sounds to evoke a certain effect from our audience.

    While writing Inquiry Three, we were limited by only being able to write an essay. We chose not to create a website because we felt we would not be able to get the full message across due to technological disability. Therefore, we could only use the rhetorical devices such as ethos, logos, and pathos through words, eliminating the option of visual elements. In Inquiry Three, there were quotes from CEO’s of various companies across the country, as well as a few from different countries, inputs from professors at prestigious universities, and even a few statements from authors, which persuades the audience to believe that machines and technology is taking over the middle class jobs through ethos. There were also many statistics and facts to back up these statements made by credible sources, using logos to persuade the audience as well. One of the most influential parts of Inquiry Three were the individual stories told by those who have lost their jobs due to the technological takeover. These stories were sad and powerful, and, through pathos, probably moved the audience in such a way that it persuaded them to take on the stance of the argument in Inquiry Three. This is what we focused on emphasizing in Inquiry Four, because using pictures and sound helps to make the stories even more powerful than just on paper. By using ethos, logos, and pathos, the audience was persuaded through words in an essay, but not through any visual elements.

    For Inquiry Four, we have the luxury of being able to add more persuasion techniques in order to get our audience to take our stance on the argument. Not only did we use ethos, logos, and pathos in text slides in the video that we created, but we also used sad/dramatic music throughout the entire video, as well as pictures that fit the mood and told the story of the takeover. In the video, we added clips of newscasters around the country talking about the global problem of the rapid incorporation of technology and machines into the workplace. At the end of the video, we tried to make it as dramatic as possible by applying it to the audience’s future, and making them question the safety of the workforce. Adding music to the background also helped to make the ending very dramatic. By adding video clips with music playing in the background, we added emotion to our project, making the audience connect with the argument. We think this will have a much greater affect on the audience because when sad music is playing along with pictures and a story of people who lost their jobs to advanced technology, it seems to become more real to the audience. Reading about it can only affect someone so much, but being able to see how the takeover affects real people will be more persuasive. The video will also allow us to reach a wider audience rather than just an essay.

    After creating our own rhetorical insights, the most important thing we learned was to incorporate music and pictures into the project. By adding the dramatic music to the background of pictures of whatever the topic is about, it creates an emotional appeal that the audience is sure to connect to. Our video was more geared towards the dramatic and sad side, so we included music that was slow and made the audience members think about what the message was that we were trying to convey, and the pictures and video clips told stories of how technology is taking over. By doing these things, we were able to connect to a wider audience than if we were to just write a paper on it like in Inquiry Three. Using ethos and logos was also important, but are probably just as strong, if not stronger, in a paper. Adding the music and pictures really emphasizes the statistics we included into our video.