In the blog post, “The Not So Distant Future,” technologies we will be seeing in the next couple of decades were discussed. However, it is also important to note that because of this perceived technological boom, the “era of innovation,” as Peter Diamandis dubbed it, will likely result in a job culling un-seen like at any other time in our history. The recent recession of 2008 will seem like pebbles to the boulder that has started its long decent.
“Oxford University researchers predicted that 47% of U.S. jobs are 'at risk' for being automated in the next 20 years – especially in the areas of transportation, logistics, and office and administrative support work.”
- Robots may take half our jobs in 20 years, so prepare for revolution - http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/01/17/governments-warned-robots-may-take-half-our-jobs-in-20-years-so-prepare-for-revolution/ )
- Coming to an office near you - Jan 18, 2014 - http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21594298-effect-todays-technology-tomorrows-jobs-will-be-immenseand-no-country-ready
Auto driving cars, which are already here will have a huge effect on transportation and logistics. Taxis, delivery trucks/vans, food delivery, USPS, UPS, Fed Ex, DHL - all these companies won’t need delivery drivers any more. But vehicle automation does not just finish with cars, it can be translated to planes, trains and buses. All those jobs can and will be easily lost to automation and artificial intelligence (AI) in the next decade or so.
What about manufacturing jobs? Well, 3D printing will allow us to make whatever we want. All we need is a .cad file which has the design built in and we print it. Kind of like a .doc file for Word. Buy the .cad file, and print whatever your 3D printer allows. This allows for more customizable products. This all means that people will be buying a lot less. Mugs, plates, utensils, wrench, screw driver, the list could go on and on. And you can print with different materials as well such as chocolate, metal, plastic, and so on. But it doesn’t just end there, robots will end jobs with menial tasks. http://video.mit.edu/watch/meet-baxter-a-new-kind-of-industrial-robot-12638/
Meet Baxter a smarter, safer new industrial robot that can be programed to do any menial/simple tasks. Putting things in boxes and out of boxes, picking things up from a conveyer belt and putting it down.
What about the health care industry? Peter Diamandis mentioned a device that could diagnose your health conditions better than a team of medical professionals. Although we aren’t there quite yet we are very close. Right now there is a product by Alivecor which uses a ECG (Electro cardiograph) connection to your iPhone. It’s essentially an attachment which allows monitoring of your heart rate, temperature, oxygen and fluid levels get recorded and uploaded to your cardiologists. Blood saliva and urine can be tested with this device. With other attachments you can conduct a full physical checkup from anywhere in the world wirelessly. You can check out that device http://www.alivecor.com/what-is-it
This transitions well into hospital care. Aethon TUG system is an autonomous robot that carries around medicine, laundry and any other things patience might need. Plus there is a robot called Asimo, created by Honda to help people. Right now Asimo can just do basic movements. Like pour tea in a glass and bring it to you and pick up objects and bring it to you as well. But over time even he will be able to communicate fully and do tasks that most home care staff performs.
We are quickly getting to the point where massive job loss is upon us. We are getting to a point where being “employed” and having a “job” might not be the only way of people can live. Our system definitely will need an overhaul. What that might be? Only the future will tell.
If you wish to go more in depth with how technology is going to affect our future, consider watching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SuGRgdJA_c Will work for free documentary.
(All accolades and credit for this tremendous blog post are for Saad Ghayas who is the author and content creator.)