Looking beyond the future of jobs, we find a place where little jobs exist. The thought of a life without employment scares many of us today because that it is all we have known.
Life has been gamified by the creation of tokens in the form of money. This game has been fun and not so fun to play. Yet it has given us all something to do. It has given us status and meaning. You can say when asked “I am a builder” or “I am a Doctor” and people can then generalise about the kind of person you might be. In addition, you can generalise about the kind of person you should be.
This “structure” is comforting for the majority. It provides certainty, consistency, routine. So it is no wonder then that we all might freak out if this is going to change. We are talking about significant changes to identity, meaning, routines, and making a living. Capatilism is at the very heart of our society.
So our journey is developing a skill, finding a way to contribute this skill to society and in return society provides the resources for us to live. We will continue to adapt our skills to the needs of society. Those who do this effectively will remain relevant during the slightly disruptive phase that exists between human employment and full automation.
There are some positive signs. As long as there is a human in the loop, generally humans like to work on stuff with humans. In this case robotic and artificial intelligence will support the team to complete its project but not replace it. So curious, creative, wise humans should still be working on problems for a while. In the case of large scale manufacturing and logistics, expect less humans to be involved and more rapid disruption to jobs.
So we are talking about a time when humans have more free time. I think we can all agree on that. Instead of a 40 hour work week, we might be looking at 20 hours, 10 hours or five.
In this non working time we are probably learning, playing, spending time with people we care about, traveling, exploring and solving problems.
I know what you are thinking though. How do we place value on each other? How do we value our time? I think the answer is simple we dont. We have all been taught to gamify each other and to commericalise our time as a limited resource. In fact the game has demanded that we use the most valuable majority of our time employed in contribution and production. When this model inverts, time will not be scarce and you will not have to survive by selling it.