This is a theme I am extremely interested in. Besides my interest in past, in history, I am also curious about the future, especially the kind of future which will be important to me personally and to people I care about. Future of work is one of such topics where volumes have been written about. OK perhaps not volumes but certainly quite a few books have been written about it. It is interesting how the past intersect with the future through the present of course.
How fast is the world changing? Let me see. My grandmother was born in a mountainous village, never finished school learnt to read on her own. My father was born in ww2 in a refuge among a bloodbath of Yugoslavia in ww2. I lived through the death of Yugoslavia at the end of the 20th century. Now I am in New Zealand, working as a beekeeper and educating my self online through an e learning campus, Open Polytechnic. So much has changed, incredibly much. We went from a village, through industrialization to modern knowledge economy in three generations.
When my grandmother was born there was no electricity. When she passed on, the internet was just starting to grow. When my kids were born the internet was already big. Now it is massive, with all its good and all its bad parts included (conspiracies, anti waxers, extremism, echo chambers). Also we are supposedly on the edge of a new revolution. The AI revolution which according to some will surpass all our inventions taken together.
Well see I guess. One thing I worry is that change is painful. Big change is even more painful. Extreme change might be extremely painful. This conclusion comes from my personal experience of living through the fall of the Berlin wall, eg the end of socialism/communism in former Yugoslavia. It was unbelievably horrible and painful.
Anyways that is a long way from the future of work which I wanted to write a bit about. Actually I will be very short. Short as in a couple of sentences. Actually as the images are better than words here are a couple of images which might or might not better illustrate my view.
First image: the garbage collection. One person in a truck, it takes him/her about 5-10 seconds to pick up the garbage from the bin. In my hometown in Serbia this job is being done by three people and it takes them way longer.
Second image a petrol pump without people. It a self service and there are zero employees at the site. A bit confusing and a kind of scarry. At least a couple of jobs gone, permanently.
Third image a cute but pointless robot on Christchurch airport. He/she/it can match your hand gestures. Sweet but useless.
My conclusion: not worried about robots or software taking my job. I want it/them to take it so that I can do something easier and hopefully more profitable. I just don’t want to be kicked out of mu job and left with nothing to do. In fact I would love to have a robot which does my job while I get my pay. That is the solution.