Robotics & Your Pay Check.
The future sounds promising in many frontiers. It sounds like the machine learning of today will foster a much intimate relationship with your technology of tomorrow. Self driving cars will free up the need for humans to be behind a wheel when moving from one point to the next. It will free humans to text and tweet unnecessary junk to the ether that will fade the moment it hits the stream of the ever expanding world wide web.
Most of the world is filled with jobs that most of us do not want to do. You know, the jobs that actually make this world go on. Hospitality, hygiene, grocery…not an office job. These jobs make up most of human labor from the lower to middle class. These jobs at a very basic level are simple but require brute “man power” and the tolerance of routine. They do not require the need for higher level thinking but rather higher level productivity and consistency.
With enough advances in robotics and procedure intelligence, most of these jobs will and are being taking away from humans. It is what the upper class does; cut cause and maximize profits. In a way, it is what any human with the means will do. Most jobs that existed a century or even a decade ago have been reassigned to robots or completely subsumed by better processes that make those jobs irrelevant. Where do all the humans displaced work? I do not know the answer to that but I reckon it had and is still having huge economic impacts.
The point is, we will get there, we will get to the point where all these higher level productivity and consistency jobs will be taking over by robots. What happens then? I think it does free up the need to work for a paycheck. I think it will make those who work even more valuable as the jobs that will be available will be highly technical and “robot proof” as I will like to call it. In that sense the upper class have an unfair advantage due to a domino effect — more on that later. The idea of not having to work for a paycheck might seem a bit outrageous but bare with me. The world economy is like a pair of three legged fork with money moving back and forth and the busiest route being the lower class. The less money you have the more money gets in and out of your hands. Ever heard of the “living from paycheck to paycheck”? Well, it means you tend to spend what you have at a frequency that rivals the speed of light relatively speaking.
Okay, let us get back on track. Enough with the side track. From now in, higher level productivity and consistency jobs are simply HLPC jobs. So, most of the human race need to work for a paycheck and these jobs are vital to the sustainability of a mostly civil and viable human race. If the preceding statement is true, then it should not be far fetched to say if robots take over these jobs, then the human race will still be sustainable with even better statistics in efficiency since robots are less prone to errors. What about the question of those humans that used to have those jobs? The jobs are still there or evolved into better versions of themselves. Our water, food, light, transportation systems become fully automated. One can say the systems that power the world evolves into a massive well oiled machinery. Of course it will take time to move from country to country and continent to continent but it will pierce most civilizations. Why would humans work for a paycheck anymore? The lives of everyday humans will not revolve around their work but rather revolve around solving much complex problems. The rudimentary but necessary everyday tasks will be left to the robots. It is like the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs with a fine but critical difference; the triangle is inverted with most of human needs and aspirations rocketing to the top.
The concept of the social security will become common place. Every human will have a right to have a living. There will be a minimum stipend to sustain human livelihood. To earn more, you have to work and the work will be very challenging. It will require higher technical and computational prowess. All manner of work will be think tanks that actually produce results that will help advance the human race. On the surface, it seems like most of the human race will be doing nothing. One might say it will make the world lazier than it already is. I say the world is lazier because of the hamstring humans are born into. Productivity stems from creativity; the ability to do what you want (in the bounds of the law) is the ultimate call a human can ever wish for. The saying “do what you love and love what you do” is not just a saying. If every human is actually doing what makes them happy, it is not far fetch to assume that the world will be collectively better. Moments of brilliance, inventions, awareness and the likes will come more often.
The current reality of inequality will be a thing of the past. In my opinion, inequality is the rearranging of the cards of luck in the favor of the privileged. When we think about inequality, a bunch of things come to mind. You do not get inequality without its precursors. Precursors like priorities of living to see another day in under developed and developing countries. We in the developed and almost developed countries can afford to think of other forms of priorities that are not remotely close to food, medicine, shelter and to a large extent education. Yes you can say the developed countries are not entirely immune to those precursors. I will grant you that with a caveat; the levels or degrees of people associated with those precursors does not even come close to the under developed and developing countries. It is like comparing mud water to tap water; well tap water is not refined water but it is a hell of a lot better than drinking mud water. Simply put, if the incentives of living are set from the point of not thinking of those precursors, inequality will either cease to exist or cease to exist in the form in which humans have come to understand.
The title of this post seems doom and gloom but actually, the future of living can be very bright. The systems that will come forth will foster a change that might seem incomprehensible to us now. The idea of not working for the basic needs of life might seem like a joke to most of us because we cannot see past the systems and underlying incentives of today. With all things being equal and projecting current ways with no critical change in the main structural/social systems, I reckon the doom and gloom will actually happen. The idea of humans working for the basic needs of life in a century from now should be viewed as a disaster and an incomprehensible and irreversible widening of the wealth gap. More on the alternate future in my next post….