posted on Apr, 28 2014 @ 01:30 PM
I've been thinking on this for a while, though I'm not much of a researcher, and am more interested in the way different ideas play off of each
other. I would love to hear how others view our future with respect to gainful employment in an age of automation.
See, we are innovating ourselves out of relevance. With the advent of 3D printing, there is a dwindling need for people to be involved in the
manufacturing process. While we've ("Developed" nations, specifically) already moved those jobs offshore, for the most part, relying on low-cost
workers outside of North America, we are now nearly able to start replacing all the low-cost workers with machines that work for the cost of materials
Hooray! Let's bring all the manufacturing process home! And still keep our own people out of it.
With manufacturing handled, we have service industry jobs to allocate... but only so many services are really needed. We are developing software and
hardware solutions to service industry woes as well. I'm sure anyone who has spent time in airports has seen the eStore vending machines, where you
can buy smartphones, tablets, laptop computers, accessories, etc... or the "Dippin' Dots" dispensers where you pick the flavours of ice cream you
want mixed, and the machine gives you a custom blend.
I guess the long and short of it is that we expect everyone to have jobs, and earn their keep, but so many of these jobs are being automated, and the
number of people required to perform them is being reduced at an increasing rate. At what point do we reach saturation with all available jobs, and
start having to deal with the real problem? The real problem we are going to face is that nearly every job can be automated, and made much more
efficient and repeatable for much less money... which feeds directly into the success of our current economies.
So... what can we do? What happens to all of us if our economies run us all out of work, and we still rely on a model that requires us to earn our
keep? We can't all be writers, painters and graphic designers for advertising (besides which, those jobs are being automated as well).
I'd suggest that despite any of our protesting, we will all be out of work one day. With the way our societies are set up now, this will mean we are
either all living off the government teat, or we will destroy ourselves trying to fight it.
But what if we willingly give over control of all these service-industry and manufacturing jobs to automatons and conveyor belts, and just focus on
development of ourselves? We need a new system that will let this happen, and even though we could immediately start this switch, it's not necessary
for a lot of us yet... I just think we need to be ready for it. Soon. For most of us, this will come within our lifetimes.
So... What's next?