What are the chances machines will do ALL work in the not so distant future?
In the past 15 years we’ve seen a drastic change in how we work, as nearly ever profession requires computation by a machine, but what happens next? I have given a lot of thought to this dilemma (technology v. human ability) & have come to the conclusion that our grandchildren will look back on today & feel it is very odd that humans used to do the “work.” They will look back on 2015 and say, “wow, unemployment used to be only 8%.” Ironically, 8% unemployment was what the Obama Administration considered the 2nd worse economic collapse in our History. That figure will seem minuscule in 50 years.
I first began to take this stance when I worked forKyriba , a technology firm that automates Accounting functions at large MNC’s (Multi-National Corporations) – financial reports that used to take months to perfect are now instantaneous… without the cost of 50 or more skilled employees it used to take to produce said reports. I worked there as a Sales Engineer, where I made & prepared visually stunning presentations & webinars, then presented the work & actual backend functionality of our software to interested executives. Not surprisingly, the biggest fears these fortune 500 c-level people had were always the same: 1) Is this software secure enough to handle financial data & transactions & 2) How much money will this save our company?
The 2nd question is essentially what we are talking about here. 50 to 400 person accounting departments which cost tens of millions of dollars annually or Kyriba’s monthly fee – about 8k. Not to mention the same reports are instant with the computers doing the work.
Moreover, the question I’ve always pondered is “What profession can’t be automated. The answer came to me pretty quickly – any profession that involves feelings or negotiation. Machines, as of now, don’t have the power to gauge human emotion (although startups like Emotient are trying) nor do they have the ability to make educated guesses. In negotiation humans take in social ques, timing of statements, outside indicators & make inferences to help gauge what their negotiation tactic will be.
These non-exact professions (think counselors, psychologists, & deal makers) where no answer is correct and no answer is wrong, are where humans are still needed. This may come off as bleak, but the way I see it, 50% or greater unemployment will become the new norm in 50 years. The half who do still have jobs will be essentially monitoring the machines – like Homer Simpson “monitors” the plant in Springfield.
In a Department of Defense report today, the D.O.D. reports that a large majority of our Nation’s Nuclear Arms are controlled by 8 inch Floppy Disks that are vastly insecure & down right dangerous. My favorite excerpt from the article is the perspective piece:
“Just to put it into context, the eight-inch disks America’s nuclear gatekeepers are using have 237.25KB of memory, which is roughly enough to store 15 seconds of audio. Which to be fair, is plenty of time to enjoy this to the full.
But if you wanted to compare it to an inexpensive 32GB memory card, you would need more than 130,000 disks to contain the same amount of storage. Fun fact, if you stacked the disks one on top of another, they would be more than 200 meters tall!“
Without Further Ado: http://bit.ly/22qOZH0