Sunday, October 12, 2014

The End of Work

Very soon we as a race will be made aware that we are much less capable than our creation in every way.

It is critical that we begin to value humanity now.

We will no longer need to drive
We will no longer need to cook
We will no longer be the best window washers or artists or programmers or engineers. 

Soon products will be produced locally, at higher quality and with more personalization at a much lower cost than could ever be produced by a human today.

Service jobs will be better executed by robots powered by powerful computers that are constantly learning everything, sharing everything and executing with precision.

My last post, Technological Unemployment  was an answer to a question posed by Peter H. Diamandis. In it I propose that we begin to pay the hospice worker a fitting wage.  We should pay the soccer coach for the real human value they provide.  In this post I want to explore the why.  Why do we need work.  

People have asked me 'why' so many times that I am astonished.  Most people simply dream of a day when they can "do what they want".   While others assume that there will be little value in any human endeavor. 

People need to work in order to relate to one another.

Economy built all of the cities in the world, it built all of the cultures of the world.  If we allow it to fail, our need for one another, and our compassion for one another will fail as well.  We will build prejudice based on ignorance.

I am a fan of Ray Kurzweil but I disagree with him when it comes to humanity.  His expectation is that we will continue to find new ways to employ ourselves.  He is so passionate about this I have begun to wonder if he has questioned himself lately.  The challenge I have is that he focuses on our joining with technology to accomplish this.  His belief that this will happen is the flaw in his argument.

People will change, people will incorporate technology, but it is inconsistent with logic that we would accept technological change within ourselves at any pace that could keep up with a singularity.  

For us to create jobs for ourselves in a traditional sense we need to provide at least equal capability either physically or mentally to any competition.  I think it is clear that we have no chance of equality with our creation, even if we remain in control of it.  We cannot create new jobs, we must embrace the most basic ones.

For technology to create jobs for us is for us to require it to deceive us, which could prove less than ideal.

The jobs I propose would be jobs that we would prefer a human perform.  These jobs are currently low value.  The hospice worker, the poet and yes the cubmaster are all jobs that we see the value in but currently we won't pay for.  We must import soccer coaches, and export tennis trainers.

Currently many companies are generous by sponsoring Junior Achievement and other good works. These programs are a step, but they are not enough.

If large companies gave 1 month paid family global volunteerism opportunity for 5 years of service and granted a month of service to another cultures family in return the affect would be dramatic.  This models emphasis is on how we build relations with cultures based on human centered activities.  This model is the beginning of a solution to two problems.

It gives humanity a job, and it strengthens the bonds between cultures.  

We must promote international humanitarian efforts by ensuring all cultures and all economic levels are understood and appreciated by one another.  

This move toward capital valuation of human centered endeavors starts with corporations being aware of the destabilization of the workforce and it completes with humanity's recognition of itself as valuable in itself. 

I fear that the world will need to be destabilized by mass unemployment, increasing cultural division or other factors before we begin down the path, but I have hope that the value of this model or something better can accelerate the change from product based economy to a human centered one.