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.
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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