A brave new world

Reading about some of the changes coming

And can’t help wondering about the human impact. The taxi and truck drivers and petrol pump / parking lot attendants displaced by self-driving cars. The waiters displaced by mobile phone based menu’s and ordering systems. The shelf stockers, checkout tellers and baggers replaced by systems that record you as you move around the shop putting items into your bags and just invoice you automatically when you leave the store before getting a robot to replenish what you bought.

The models, actors and movie industry left jobless by computer programs that can create entire movies virtually from a screen play created using software and avatars.

The experts; doctors, lawyers, accountants and their many support staff; decimated by the arrival of deep learning systems that are able to perform their job functions orders of magnitude more efficiently. The water and power and sewage companies rendered irrelevant by houses going off grid electrically, harvesting their water from the air


And recycling their sewage and garbage. Civil service workers whose primary job of allocating resources and managing budgets has been outsourced to algorithms and virtual assistants far more capable than they ever were. Nobel laureate economist Douglass North estimated that 50% of GDP is subsumed by transaction costs. That means letting an AI run the show reduces costs by 50%.

New technologies like the Blockchain are also driving transactional costs down to levels never before imagined, for stellar that’s 1/100,000 of a cent, so banks will be decimated as their oversized margins get squeezed by fintech. Big Pharma will find their profits under threat as Biotech firms bring drugs to market at a fraction of the cost using big data and AI.

Retailers will be replaced by Amazon and its ilk, as the consumer goods category becomes a function of the Internet-of-Things where your fridge replenishes itself. Malls become experiential shopping destinations, taken over by the brands vying for your attention.

And all the unemployed people just go out to spend the money the government gives them every month to keep the economy growing.

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