Will robots take our jobs? That’s not even a question anymore, the answer is a resounding YES, the more pertinent question and one I think a lot of people have chosen to take an ostrich ‘head in the sand’ approach to (though I think the English language has given ostriches a bad rap, they don’t really do that…anyway I digress and I have just started) is – where does it leave us emotionally driven organic life forms?
Most global think tanks do seem to agree on this one – things ain’t looking that bright for the so-called superior beings on the planet, in an interesting case of biting the hand that feeds (creates) you, anywhere between 25 to 50 % of jobs will be lost for good to automation /robotics etc.
I keep thinking am I being a Luddite…as in the “Luddite fallacy” – people who believed that mechanisation would be death of employability – while they were proven wrong and somewhere I am hoping that I will be too, because isn’t the bright side of this story supposed to be that automating routine work would mean more creative work for me to focus on; but there seems to be a robotic spanner in the works…
There is a school of thought, one that I would currently subscribe to, that says the concept might not hold true anymore – as if jobs that disappear from one sector and aren’t adding to jobs in other sectors, I mean with technology only growing faster and more engrained in every aspect of our lives, it’s only obvious, even without AI (the fact that you reading this on a smart machine in the palm of your hand more powerful than the computer that launched the Apollo 11, is proof enough) and what if society isn’t able to evolve and adapt faster than technology then what happens?
What does this mean for a country and its people – we already have serious youth unemployment problems today.
What happens when a large percentage of unemployed youths think they don’t have a future if you take away the element of hope and the silver lining that things will get better – the newspaper headlines of rioting as a result of civil instability seems to the first visuals that come to mind,
Here’s what happens if 45+% of a country is unemployed – 1) They are not paying taxes so where is the government going to have money to support 100% of the population and 2) They are not consuming – if they aren’t consuming sooner or later the cycle of production would have to stop…the wheels come off…you get the picture.
There is an urgent need for massive amounts of retooling, forget re-tooling…I would go as far as to say reimagining (65% of children entering grade school this year will assume careers that don’t yet exist) .
While individuals and families need to think about this with a degree of urgency; Policy makers, economists and planners need to look at this with a state of PANIC (of course they need to get their heads out of the sand first)
Can we at least start a conversation somewhere…Here perhaps or at our local and state legislators, maybe we need to nudge more than a few people…