Better late than never…

19 August 2018

I often wonder, my colleague said, when it was we discovered that researchers expect more than 50 % of jobs can be replaced by robots. This reminds me of what my father used to say, smiling: “When you grow up, you will be lucky to find a job, and even more lucky if you find a job you enjoy doing, as most people hate their jobs.” While Papa was perhaps far ahead of his time, we see now the signs that artificial intelligence and robots will more and more take over things in our society. Buses, trams and cars will soon be driving on our roads without “drivers”. Financial robots will operate more and more on the financial markets, influencing companies’ values and, indirectly, people’s pension funds and other types of wealth. We are controlled by machines, even without our knowing, and all this information regarding our private lives is stored somewhere.

One can argue that many of these jobs are not in line with true human nature, and that homo sapiens was not created to sit behind desks and write on computers, but the topic nevertheless raises some questions.

First of all, what can and should be done for those who will find themselves out of the job market? Who will get the available jobs? What will the criteria be, and what kind of foundations will our new society be built on?

Secondly, there is much discussion about a minimum wage for every citizen, but who will pay? If there is only 50 % of one age group working, will they accept to pay enough taxes so that the others can live a decent life? It’s not so sure, as most people tend to be quite selfish at the end of the day.

What about education? What kind of education would be needed to keep a society together without civil wars and internal conflicts?

The questions are many, and so far the answer are few. Nevertheless, there should be some reflection on the theme, as we are indeed at the early beginning of a new type of society, the numeric one, and, as we often hear, it should be a place for everybody, rich, smart, poor, less smart… Everybody should be taken care of, and have a meaningful life, with or without a job.

With these thoughts, I wish you all a pleasant day