SpaceX owner, Elon Musk, revealed in a recent interview that he thinks automation is inevitable and that many of us will be out of a job in the years to come.
Working in the IT support industry, I hear the word automation on an hourly basis. Companies are consistently and aggressively making their processes more automated and removing the need for human interaction. This, they say, removes the possibility of human error and makes the processes more standardized and accurate. I think what they really mean is that they won’t have to pay a human to do the job.
So I do worry, that in just a few years’ time I won’t have a job because a robot could do it better and cheaper. Coupled with the fact that the population of the planet is rapidly increasing, how will the job market look in just a few years? Elon Musk has been thinking along the same lines recently, as he believes that governments will have to pay everyone a living wage to keep people satisfied. Switzerland recently had a vote to introduce a living wage for people which was ultimately rejected, but it did raise a point.
President Obama has spoken about the idea of a universal income in the past and said that it will be something that is discussed more often in the years to come:
“Whether a universal income is the right model — is it gonna be accepted by a broad base of people? — that’s a debate that we’ll be having over the next 10 or 20 years.”
This could, in the best case scenario, leave humans to relax and enjoy their lives more, should they choose to. Musk revealed that humans will eventually need to create a symbiosis with ‘digital super-intelligence’ in order to understand and develop in the modern world, but he warns that this will not be an easy task. In a recent interview with CNBC, Musk said that the majority of jobs will soon be automated. Without government support, citizens could find themselves without food or homes.
“There is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation. I’m not sure what else one would do with this. I think that’s what would happen. And then we have to figure out how we integrate with a world in the future with advanced AI, Ultimately, it would need to be some kind of improved symbiosis with digital super-intelligence.”
Musk used Tesla as an example, as they have recently looked at developing electric trucks for the logistics industry. If these trucks were automated, one person could oversee an entire fleet. Instead of paying 500 drivers, you could have one IT guy in an office. This probably isn’t possible in the extreme near future, but 20 years’ time maybe? Who knows? Musk also said that all Tesla cars, including the Model 3, will be fully autonomous and that someone could drive from one side of America to the other whilst sleeping the entire way.
What a world we live in. Governments are discussing paying people for doing nothing and we will soon have cars that will do all the driving for us. Until that happens, I have to go to my 9-5 job tomorrow, driving in a car that doesn’t even have power steering or electric windows. What a world we live in.