Technical unemployment is very real and already here.
We face a pandemic of economic insecurity. Artificial intelligence, blockchain, robotics, the Internet of Things, Nanotechnology, biotechnology, and many other exponential technologies are currently changing our lives.
Studies say many of our current jobs will be lost over the next decade. According to McKinsey, 400 to 800 million jobs will be lost worldwide by 2030. A New York Times article from January 2019 on automation, reveals why this will be the case.
I recommend reading a longer Medium post “The Real Story of Automation Beginning with one simple Chart” from Scott Santens with many statistics and additional facts.
This change is accelerated by the historically low-interest rates as they make the “technical replacement investment case” more attractive. To be a good investment, new technology doesn’t have to replace the full job an employee is currently carrying out, but only has to cover individual tasks more efficiently.
Progress in one domain can be mostly directly transferred to other domains. Successes in Work Area A can be transferred to work Areas B, C, D, and E. Information technology is a universal technology and will affect all areas.
Machines and algorithms are much further advanced than the average citizen currently imagines. They are developing rapidly and will also affect highly qualified white-collar jobs.
Some Automation Examples
Manufacturing – https://youtu.be/HX6M4QunVmA
Fashion – https://youtu.be/OsSDI8wWAyQ
Hot Dogs – https://singularityhub.com/2019/12/19/how-two-robots-learned-to-grill-and-serve-hot-dogs
Burger – https://emerj.com/ai-sector-overviews/ai-in-restaurants-food-services/
Barista – https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/03/22/baristas-beware-robot-that-makes-gourmet-cups-coffee-has-arrived/?noredirect=on
Pizza – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbrfQaHsC6U&feature=youtu.be
Waiter – https://emerj.com/ai-sector-overviews/ai-in-restaurants-food-services/
Taxis – https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/26/20833215/waymo-self-driving-car-taxi-passenger-feedback-review
Trucks – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIlCR4eG8_o&feature=youtu.be
13 min. video from CNN from 2020, March 16th : “Will driverless trucks soon share our roads?”
Warehouse Robots – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DKrcpa8Z_E&feature=youtu.be
Recruiter – https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/08/10/10-ways-artificial-intelligence-will-change-recruitment-practices/#202234a53a2
Programmer – https://futurism.com/military-created-ai-learned-to-program
News Anchor – https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/09/the-worlds-first-ai-news-anchor-has-gone-live-in-china.html
Doctor – https://www.businessinsider.in/science/research/news/google-ai-model-beats-radiologists-at-detecting-breast-cancer/articleshow/73065302.cms
Lawyer – https://hackernoon.com/20-top-lawyers-were-beaten-by-legal-ai-here-are-their-surprising-responses-5dafdf25554d and https://youtu.be/YbrfQaHsC6U?t=293
Banks – https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2019-10-02/robots-to-cut-200-000-u-s-bank-jobs-in-next-decade-study-says
Trader – https://youtu.be/YbrfQaHsC6U?t=188
Auditor – https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/audit/articles/impact-of-blockchain-in-accounting.html
Painter – https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4652460/The-AI-artist-create-painting-style.html
Composer – https://futurism.com/the-worlds-first-album-composed-and-produced-by-an-ai-has-been-unveiled
Scriptwriter – https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/06/an-ai-wrote-this-movie-and-its-strangely-moving/
Find more examples in the article from Bernard Marr: Can Machines and Artificial Intelligence be Creative?
As presidential candidate Andrew Yang wrote:
“The test is not ‘Will there be new jobs we haven’t predicted yet that appear?’ Of course there will be. The real test is ‘Will there be millions of new jobs for middle-aged people with low skills and levels of education near the places they currently reside?”Andrew Yang, The War on Normal People, p. 74
On the other hand, technical progress also offers fantastic opportunities. Authors such as Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler write in their book Abundance, that we can meet the basic needs of all of humanity by 2030.
This is achieved through Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Digital Fabrication, Synthetic Biology, and other exponential technologies. So-called “moonshot projects,” have the potential to advance all of humanity and solve many, if not all, of our problems.
“We are racing toward a world of abundance, and we are going to be increasing the quality of life for everyone on this planet.”Peter Diamandis, cofounder and executive chairman of Singularity University
The only question is how we will distribute this increase in productivity. Will income and wealth distribution become even more spread? Or, will we succeed in making technical progress even more effective for the well-being of all?
If you want to better understand this topic I recommend to read the book The Robots Are Coming!: The Future of Jobs in the Age of Automation by Andres Oppenheimer, Ezra E. Fitz. Here you will learn about..
..a cell phone manufacturer that laid off 90% of its workers and intends to cut its workforce even further.
..running a hundred- room hotel with just two regular employees, a cleaning staff, and a team of robots.
..an automated sushi restaurant chain.
..Zume Pizza chain that is replacing its cooks with robots.
..robotic machine gun turrets.
..robots advising on life insurance selection.
..digitally generated actors.
..changes for lawyers, surgeons, journalists, teachers etc.
..the new type of jobs that will come up.
The rules of the game must change:
This is not a one time fixed article. I will add more examples. Please let me know what automation examples I should add to the list.