We are moving from an era where machines have been used by humans to augment their capability and do jobs they could not do without machines, to an era where machines are autonomous enough to do it on their own.
Interestingly enough, humans have been autonomous for the last 300,000 years until just recently, about 200 years ago when the industrial revolution started. From then on the majority of people lost their autonomy, were looking for jobs and did what they have been told to do. And if there was no job they were devastated – unemployed – not knowing what to do – not knowing how to go from here and survive.
In the next 50 years, autonomous machines will produce our feed, our goods, our clothes, our toys and pretty much anything we need. Most importantly they do not need other people to perform their jobs. Will we have 50% unemployed people, hanging around, frustrated, angry…? Possibly, but more likely it will pan out differently. No – sorry, not because we have 500 Million new jobs in the developed countries. We won’t. But because we are true humans. Independent, self sufficient, creative and equipped with all the amazing ingredients that makes us human. No matter if we are a banker, a street worker, a teacher, a assembly worker, a sales man or anything else – we are all creative – some simply had more time to unfold their creativity then others.
Our most important task
As we evolve and our technology progresses we need to come together and find ways to help hundreds of millions of people who may have no longer body crushing, dangerous, dirty, monotonous, stupidity creating jobs. We have to come to grips that this is not what people chose because of their education or heritage but those jobs were the ones we had to perform to build our next generation in our evolution. AI driven robots and other machines help eradicate hard work. Something that would have viewed as paradise is now almost a threat? I don’t think so. But thinking is required to use this amazing opportunity right. We have to develop scenarios and plans how we use our new freedom – and freedom and wealth will be abundant.
Just imagine – and please don’t argue before you completely read it. Imagine, we build smart, autonomous machines that build all our cars, our TVs, selects, cleans, packs and delivers our food, produces our clothes and everything else. Those machines can work 24 hours a day not just 8 hours. They don’t need vacation, health care and whatever else we ask for our comfort. So they will produce three times as much as we. Imagine that the taxes for those machines are as much as one human salary. The company would still have double the output on top of it. Imagine robots as a service, where companies rent them only when they need them. The economy of scale is so enormous that one robot could possibly even provide the tax for two salaries and still give the company a financial advantage over employees. Imagine that instead of going every day into a factory, a sales job, a delivery service or whatever, you get time to find out what you really would love to do. Maybe become an artist, maybe research strange flowers, maybe bake unique cakes, run a bar or restaurant, maybe become a car racer, surfer or whatever. Now you can. Maybe repeat school and graduate and go to University. Maybe you start to train even new and better robots like the ones who erased your old job. Imagine you become completely autonomous, have more time with your family or friends and learn new skills you not even had the faintest idea that you have a good base for it.
In my eyes, human autonomy would be, by order of magnitude, the most attractive goal we can achieve. And each and everybody could make a major step up on Maslow’s Pyramid of needs. We may even need to have autonomous machines to reach autonomy for all humans.
I know – it is too good to be true. And therefor most people will fight this new world as long as they can just because their mind is still programmed that way. It is conditioned in the family in school and by their friends to be the lowest level of society, to have no chance and so forth.
All together we need to help all people to evolve to equal members of our society. Most people over 30 would not be able to do that but the young generation is our hope. They are the ones who will at retirement age make sure that the next generation are autonomous members of our society.