The End Of Work As We Know It

in LeoFinance14 days ago

We are heading towards seismic shifts for humanity.

What was normal and commonplace is being completely upended. Technology is moving at a pace that was never before envisioned, a situation that is going to impact jobs.

Many feel that technology will create more jobs than it destroys. While this might be true long term, in the near-to-medium term it is not likely. This is going to cause great conflict within society.

We saw what happened when robots entered the manufacturing arena. Over a 30 year period of time, tens of thousands of jobs were destroyed as robots took over the means of production. Many feel the United States does not produce anything anymore. However, while things tapered off, we see there is still a lot of production in the United States.

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As we can see, all throughout the 1990s, the amount manufactured increased while jobs were lost across the country.

We are likely to see a repeat of this in the white collar sector. Artificial Intelligence and software advancement will eliminate jobs in a fashion similar to what robotics did in the manufacturing segment.

Since we are rapidly gaining the ability to produce what we need while also moving towards a time when the services required will be handled autonomously, work as we know it is going to be forever changed.

In the United States, we are already seeing the reduction in the workforce. This is most likely only the beginning. Over the next decade, we will see millions of jobs eliminated, ones that will be hard to replace in such a short period of time.

Over the next couple of decades, we will also see a larger jump in how society operates. With the expected increase in automation, humanity will find itself at a crossroad. How do we operate in a world where work, as we know it, is not required as it once was?

Hollywood has presented a vision of the future where AI comes for human life. However, the reality it is starting to come for our jobs. The benefits that it offers are simply too great.

At present, we are seeing the conversation framed where humans work alongside of technology. Yet this is only a temporary situation. As we find out computers and robots can do things better than humans, the question of why even have the humans involved is going to be asked? The answer is obvious.

We already see claims that autonomous vehicles are near the level of humans. Radiologists are close to being matched by image recognition software. Reports are that computers can outpace judges when determining who is going to skip out on bail.

These are assertions using technology in 2021. What will this picture look like in 2025 or 2027?

Many believe that we are going to see the elimination of work as we know it in the next couple decades. What does society do at that point? Of course, there will be a build up of problems leading up to that eventual day. This is where society will require some kinds of answers.

Of course, this was something that was promised for decades. Thus far, it has not come to pass. That said, many made the case that the developed world excelled at creating jobs just to create them. In the end, there really was no point to them.

Which also leads into the discussion of jobs being destroyed by technology. Since many of the jobs were not essential to start, they can easily be replaced.

We not only have financial ramifications of this but how will people handle it psychologically. This is a problem that the developed world is already facing. We tend to tie our identities (read self worth) into our professions. After all, one of the first questions we ask people upon meeting them is "what do you do"?

Simply put, we are going to see a time when the majority of the population is not required to meet our basic sustenance needs. Much of this will be done by robots and AI. Thus, what do the rest of us do?

This is the question that will be confronting humanity across the globe. It is evident that we are 10-20 years before we see the end of work as we know it.


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I don't think there will be a complete stop to work. There would still be services, such as taking care of the elderly who require 24 hour supervision. There is the option for artisanal work. Performances, such as busking and concerts. Personalized cooking. In terms of finding work, the limit would principally be a lack of imagination.

As an example, who would have thought that people could make money blogging and posting videos? The other day I was watching some guys magnet fishing out of ponds and rivers. They make money from the videos and from selling the scrap they pull out of the water. As a matter of fact, my daughter just got into the YouTube monetization by posting cartoon videos that make absolutely no sense to me. But, she has a following, apparently.

I think the future of work has the potential to be more creative, or require more creativity. This, of course, circles back to the issue that some people will be left out of this revolution.

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I agree with you @travelwritemoney. Creatives are leading the way in this new economy.

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There is a presumption that creativity is only limited to humans. What if AI can eclipse us in creativity as well as speed and memory?

That is the danger. AI is already generating trailers for films and is capable of writing "articles". Sure at this point there is not much creativity to it but what is it really? Isnt creativity just align information or knowledge in a new way? AI certainly will be able to do that in the future and it will have access to a lot more information than any of us.

Personally, the creativity argument is losing steam as AI advances. It was once thought of as a safe haven yet is no longer.

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It's not the creativity itself that is my focus. I think it's more of our ability to think of ways to make money. There are tons of bands that aren't that great, musically. But, they have fans because people like watching a performance, which often sounds worse than the studio version. People go to Las Vegas to . . . well, many go to have regrets, . . . watch shows and be entertained. AI could produce perfect music; but, will it go on tour and trash hotels?

Theater continues to entertain despite the inefficiency of having a group of people perform several times a week. It would be more efficient to record it and be done. But, people want to see a live performance. Automation need not apply.

I agree with you that AI can learn to be creative. But, there's no triumph in it. With AI, you see the culmination of thousands and thousands of simulations in a few moments. It's cold and calculated. With a person, you see the culmination of months or years of practice to hone their skill. You share the joy of performing with the actors. But, this is not where I was going.

Circling back to the end of work, we could do without the repetitive, soul-sucking work. But, it will require having people really think about other ways to earn money. For people accustomed to trading hours of their lives for money, they'll need to learn how to "think up" money. This is the creativity that I suggest. It is the ability to see opportunity and fill the need. Many people lack that entrepreneurial view of life, which will be essential in a world of automation and AI. The gig economy is possibly a warm up to that sort of living where people will need to constantly market their skills and go from opportunity to opportunity. Many people lack the creativity to look beyond the 9 to 5 job. This is the creativity we need in the automated, AI world.

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I'm all about passive income, my hard working days are way behind me. Will be interesting for this new generation growing up in the world today though !

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I have said before that the human species is near 'uselessness'. In a decade or two we will fewer of us will be needed. Every possible thing that can be thought id will be handled by robots. This places humanity in an awkward position. I have a few theories about what might happen leading to this era (one of which is depopulation and the debate of what's life matter more (the masses or the elites)

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(one of which is depopulation and the debate of what's life matter more (the masses or the elites)

A fact that is hard to overlook considering the people who presently run this planet are a bunch of psychopaths. So even if it is conspiracy theory, I do not discount the intention of the depopulation movement. They are a serious bunch who have a lot of money as evidenced by Bill Gates.

One proposition is that humans transform, moving beyond our biological. To do this, we really have to get to the root of what it means to be conscious and to be able to replicate that within machines.

Will we be able to get to that point? We shall see.

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There have to be and I believe aspect of "work" that AI can't do. Or well simply wont ever be able to do unless we find a way to program it. AI that thinks for itself and makes mistakes on purpose to try and find better solutions. This is what brings some of the biggest innovations within the world we live in. Mistakes that lead to new outcomes.
Can a AI do this? It's possible but would the AI recognize what it just stumbled across or pass it off as bad code and move on.

I don't see it happening all that quickly but it's possible. The next 20-30 years will see a drastic improvement in AI for sure as I believe much of that will be fueled in the process of going to mars where AI will need to lay the base for when humans arrive.

Once we get Mars figured out I think we will be scaling quickly into what we as humans but really AI are capable of.

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Well, what I know is that at least blockchain and cryptocurrencies will create new jobs, it's already happening. There are innumerable ways to get passive income and active income and in the future, there will be more opportunities. I think replacing low-quality jobs with AI is a must to be more productive.

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This actually reminded me of a speaker that I saw quite some time ago. I don't remember where it was, I think maybe it was at an education leadership conference. Anyway, he was talking about how America doesn't produce things like they used to. Other countries have proven that they can produce the stuff much quicker and much cheaper. He was saying what the US needs to do is to embrace that and instead become innovators. His thinking was if we could abandon that other hopeless production race it could be a boon not to just our country but the entire world with the stuff that we might develop. It was very interesting.

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As the chart shows, the US kept producing things. Globalization did not kill American manufacturing. Nor did it stop drilling/mining or food production.

This was a myth that was spread for decades, in spite of the data telling us otherwise.

Innovation certainly is key. We see a lot of it taking place. The challenge now is the point being made by that speaker does not apply to America but the human race. We could soon find ourselves at a place where computers and robots can do most things better than humans (and quicker too).

What happens them?

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Then we kick back and focus our studies on science, philosophy, and the stars! :)

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@taskmaster4450le the change that the AI will bring won't be easy at first because there will honestly be some kind of job loss but when we look at the long term benefit then we will need to embrace it...

Not sure of the long term, whether it will be a benefit or not. We will see how things unfold.

There are long term factors which must be accounted for, that is for sure. To ignore it does not mean that it will go away.

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10-20 years before we see the end of work as we know it

I wonder if our society will be run by Robots and AI. There may be a few people in charge giving the orders but is a possible revolt by them possible? I feel like a few bad programming errors can end up dooming society in the future and have way worst repercussions compared to today.

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That is a food for thoughts....but that is the power of FEAR @jfang003

Yes but the effects of programming or hacks have been increasing in damage over the past few years. At this point in time, I do think technologically it will deal more damage when we rely more on AI and robots in our daily lives.

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Crybersecurity will remain a top field to go into for a long time.

That is one that people should gravitate towards if they want a stable, secure career.

We are going to need people in that realm for decades to come.

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I would say that is a possibility of course. It is something that many warn about. Is it Sci-Fi and Hollywood programming or legitimate potential?

I think the most sensible approach is that we merge with the technology we are creating. It is already happening to a degree and we must be mindful of the negative potential if this gets away from us.

The answer is not clear but we need to take a serious look at what can happen.

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Unfortunately, we probably know what will happen at some point: war. On a scale we've never seen. Where the dust settles, literally, after that will probably determine where the world goes from there. It's hard to imagine what will happen. Maybe the machines will do the majority of the work and the rest of us will all be in the "service" industry. Plus, at some point, you know there will be a giant financial services industry developed around the crypto world. Hell, maybe it will be developed under Leo. :-)

Service is already on the list too. We will see many of those jobs replaced also. Accounting, legal, nursing, and other services are targeted.

Crypto will certainly be a basis for our future in my opinion. It will be a new financial system that is constructed.

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I was more talking about hospitality, tourism, sports, restaurants, music, that kind of thing. If there are going to be all those people with nothing to do, they're still going to need actual "people' to interact with. We, as humans, are a social animal. We're not going to do well interacting with robots all the time, no matter how much more "efficient" they are. Very interesting post. Lots to think about...

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There are already studies how people in Japan are becoming emotionally attached to their robotic caregivers. So it is not that far-fetched that social will include our new "beings". After all, people get attached to their animals all the time.

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I think if too many jobs disappear there will be an uprising and serious problems as people will not just embrace this. People need to have a feel of value and having a job and paying your way is just a basic fundamental and right. Being told to stay home and we will pay you x amount wont be acceptable so there is trouble ahead.

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At present, we are seeing the conversation framed where humans work alongside of technology. Yet this is only a temporary situation. As we find out computers and robots can do things better than humans, the question of why even have the humans involved is going to be asked? The answer is obvious.