Are Human Beings Going to Become Extinct?
We are told that technology, automation and robotics will continue to take away jobs from people. Even more worrisome, is this trend will move up the employment food chain as artificial intelligence takes over the need for human intelligence.
We are already see it in the business world. Go on a job interview and the skillset desired is one of being able to work with and move around data. Gone are the questions surrounding your ability to think logically and critically, interact, communicate and lead others, or dedication to accomplishing a goal. Human qualities are out, technocrat skills are in.
The factories that come back to the United States will employ less than half of what they would have ten years ago. What do we do with the other half?
So where will this lead the human race? When robotics and artificial intelligence started to become a future reality in the 1960s and 1970s we assumed the workplace would adjust in the form of reduced work hours and some retraining of skills. In fact, the opposite has happened, we have reduced the workforce, not the work hours, and have dispensed with any real retraining efforts.
So what do we do with the displaced? Leave them to rot and die, get hooked on drugs as what is occurring now. This along with global warming are the two most dangerous trends facing mankind with no one offering solutions.
If you want to get some idea of what a future Earth might look like I recommend streaming the SyFy series, “Incorporated.” Set in 2074 its a world of the 1% that lives in paradise (known as the Green Zone) with a world of advanced technology, working for a few large corporations that now rule the world while the other 99% live in hellish conditions forcing never ending suffering. It might be science fiction television but maybe not so fiction. My own assessment is that it this world would come to be well before 2074.
The other scenario would be a huge world war in which millions will die, or most of or all of the Earth becomes inhabitable due to nuclear bombs.
If we want to save the human race we better soon make a plan to save the human race. Do we need guaranteed employment for all? Do we need to change our work structure as to require companies to limit hours? Do we need a guaranteed income? For the displaced what should happen to allow them to continue to live and provide for themselves?
I’m not sure what the answer(s) are but we better get on with it. Or “Incorporated” will be our world before we know it and the vast majority of us will be living outside that “Green Zone.”