Exploring the Social Imagination

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Changes in Work 'career' in the Social Imagination of an Ai World!

"I am working til I am least 70", a middle aged woman boasted. Really, who told you that?

Unless, you are really special as in being a super specialist in some area that a robot will never be, a kind of expert in giving facials I suppose (as the human touch can never be replaced and the desire for it), then your job will be either replaced by robots/quantum computers.

And, even if you are the expert facial provider, you will have to retire early in order to make way for the new and younger specialist/expert. Stanislaw Lem, a Polish science fiction writer, wrote about such a scenario... the future of work.  In his novel, he saw men (including women) as living their life in a cubicle, studying online and getting a job, the job of their dream as it was the one they studied for their entire young life. The job was for only one day as I recall but it satisfied them in that their dream came true. What happened to them after that? I don't remember the end but I am not sure I want to remember the end. 

Of course, that was 'science fiction'. However, recent articles/publications have told us that such science fiction is becoming a reality in the nearest future. We can see it already as technology grows, jobs disappear. As computers become Ai, they will take over decision making at the local and even at the national level.

We will be told that quantum computers will give us more time for ourselves as they free up our time and make our lives safer, as they will address health problems, traffic, global conflict, parenting, business, the environment and just about everything else that man used to do. 

But, even if they aren't allowed to go that far or we agree that such computers benefit mankind the bottom line is...

The American workplace is rapidly changing. Many low-skilled jobs have already been replaced by technology, and continued automation and artificial intelligence might put more people out of work. Higher-skilled careers in areas such as finance and medicine might also be at risk. These workers often struggle to find new employment. In response, policymakers are debating the necessary educational paths to give the current and future workforce the skills they will need to secure meaningful employment.

At the same time, interest in the concept of a guaranteed minimum income is growing domestically and globally. Under this policy, a government guarantees that people earning below a certain amount have an income sufficient to live on, provided they meet certain conditions.
What many people don’t realize is that the United States was a pioneer of this concept, known here as a negative income tax (NIT). Mathematica Research Policy - Princeton NJ

And, what will 'meaningful employment be? What conditions will have to be met to be granted as in given a guaranteed income by the government? No one is talking about either... To be on the safe side, get your children into 'human' services, ones that the elite and computers won't mind them doing and even appreciate. I am sure that a good facial or foot massage would be welcomed by either kind of intelligence.

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