Work is dead!

A view on the post work world and a jobless society.

Hello Universe!

Are you afraid that you might lose your jobs to robots? Don’t be afraid! EVERYBODY will (maybe even robots).

That’s harsh, I know. But it’s happening right now, in front of your eyes.

First, let’s start with a question:

Why do we work?

This question can have a real bunch of answers depending on whom you ask, but the majority of them will fall into the following categories (not in a particular order):

  • To get money for me and, perhaps, my family survival/well being.
  • To be free to do the things I really like.
  • Because I love it.
  • I like the recognition from my work.
  • To help people/society/community.

All those answers fall, give or take, into Maslow’s hierarchy of needs from Abraham Maslow which is represented as a pyramid where the most basic needs are on the bottom of it:

Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs- Image by FireflySixtySeven — Inkscape, based on Maslow’s paper, A Theory of Human Motivation. CC BY-SA 4.0

So, where we as a SOCIETY are right now?

This is a tough one because a lot of countries and people within those countries are still dwelling with the first two steps of the pyramid while the majority of the so-called, “developed countries”, are somewhere in between third and fourth step — even fifth for some.

You see? Society is not equal in opportunities for all and that’s the very fact that DRIVES it.

Society is not equal in opportunities for all and that’s the very fact that DRIVES it.

It may be a harsh or an unhearted thought but it is very true.

The fact that we don’t have the same things, or in other words, that we are not on the same stages of our hierarchy of needs makes us try and go forward for the “next level”.

The fact that we don’t have the same things, or in other words, that we are not on the same stages of our hierarchy of needs makes us try and go forward for the “next level”

“And so? I don’t see what this all has to do with jobs not existing anymore!” you may say.

Well… ROBOTS! In fact, AI enabled robots.

They are already removing loads of “blue collar” jobs and repetitive tasks and will, more and more, impact ALL industries.

And I mean ALL of them!

“But Diego, I’m an ARTIST, robots can’t get my work!” — NOT TRUE. Don’t believe me? Check it out below:

“Yeah… ALMOST is not winning!” you might say.

Agree. But just remember that we are not even close to the full potential of AI, this is like a 3-year-old human child almost winning a prestigious literary prize.

Not convinced? Well… check this:

Again… take into perspective what is the actual stage of development of this technology right now.

A very used, and plausible, the argument is that AI will “create more jobs than it will take”.

I respect that argument, although I completely disagree with it.

Our society is based on consumerism right now, we buy things with money to satisfy one of Maslow basic needs and, in order to get that money we work.

But with fully automated AI, the Work -> Get money -> buy things cycle gets completely broken. And with that, the need for work vanishes.

But with fully automated AI, the Work -> Get money -> buy things, cycle gets completely broken. And with that the need for work vanishes.

Why? Because we will have a society where everybody starts at the same level! And that level is basically the last two in the hierarchy “Esteem” and “Self-Actualisation”

What does it mean? That we will not have the engine that drives our society anymore.

Society will have to be re-invented

If we don’t have work, we don’t have money, if we don’t have money we can’t buy things, if we can’t buy things industry is not needed, if the entire industry is not needed, work is not needed (even robot work). And cycle repeats.

If we don’t have work, we don’t have money, if we don’t have money we can’t buy things, if we can’t buy things industry is not needed, if industry is not needed, work is not needed (even robot work). And cycle repeats

So how to overcome that problem?

Truth is: nobody knows!

Although some ideas are in place:

  • Universal Income
  • Everyone getting “stocks” from the companies and being paid dividends by companies which re-ignites the cycle.
  • Money and consumerism are not needed at all and so we should just live “free and wild” fulfilling our desires as we wish and helping each other for the “greater good” (whatever it may be).

I’ll not pretend here to have one correct answer for this problem. What I preach about is that the majority of us is looking at the wrong problem.

AI getting all the jobs is a FACT and we need to start building a new society with that in mind.


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Take a look at my other stories which talks about the Big Bang Cosmology theory.