Wall-E was Correct
In predicting our post-AI future, the creators of Disney’s successful animated film Wall-E had hit the nail on its head. Our future will be run by entirely automated systems managed by a small group of voluntary workers.
It will begin as it currently is in countries like Switzerland, where the citizens will hold referendums to determine basic income salaries even for unemployed individuals. Since there is no practical reason or need for everyone to be working at this momentous moment in history, with AIs taking over menial labor and even high-end computing jobs, the government will pay a citizen’s wage to all those earning below a certain level of pay. This may not seem fair to devout Capitalists but there must be a social change for the world to continue functioning. Capitalism in its purest form has never existed without government regulation and cannot exist without it. But here comes the most interesting part where the concept of money will become obsolete. The idea of money began due to human greed and a scarcity of goods and services. This mechanism has worked wonderfully for us so far since most if not all of our goods and services were provided by greedy human hands. However times are changing and now AIs are making it possible for all work to be done by selfless robots. In the beginning only the educated and the wealthy will be able to afford these robot-services. But in the long run, as robots’ intelligence far surpasses our own, they will be responsible not only for manufacturing and services, but also for creative design and innovation. This has direct consequences not limited to the dismissal of CEOs, companies, and all other man-made structures that run on the fuel of greed. At this point since everything from food, shelter, clothes, entertainment, etc will be engineered, designed, produced and freely distributed by AIs, money will become unnecessary and everyone will live in equality. Of course there will still need to be a government that will also be largely managed by robots under human supervision and whose task will simply be law enforcement, drafting legislation, and foreign diplomacy. And high-end scientific research will be run mostly by robots and facilitated by humans. So aside from these few jobs that will be done voluntarily by ourselves, everything else will fall into the hands of our capable AIs in the future. This new era of human dormancy and AI activities will change human nature through another step in our evolution. We may evolve for the better or for the worse depending on how we choose to utilize our free time. Will we become the morbidly obese floating sacks of protoplasm like in Wall-E, or will we become intelligent, healthy fitness buffs with flawless physical appearances?
The biggest question is how soon will all of this happen? Well current estimates suggest that the first AIs to support human-like brain functionalities (not mastering single tasks like AlphaGo but being able to think and process multiplex concepts) will occur starting in 2025.
See you all in the new automated era.