There seems to be a constant battle between middle class workers and robots. If someone works a repetitive job that requires little or no technical training, chances are technology can do their job for them. Although this process will provide a future of abundance, people are becoming cautious of ‘technological unemployment.’ In this TED Talk from economist Andrew McAfee, we get an expert’s outlook on our technological future and what we can do to best prepare ourselves for such a dramatic transition. McAfee says our jobs are safe for the next few years, but as technological awareness increases, we will be relying on education and intellectual power to hold jobs of the future.
The relationship between education, jobs, and life quality is explained simply by McAfee’s story of Bill and Ted. Ted was a college grad and bill wasn’t. In the 1960’s, they lived similar lives according to income equality, happiness, and hours of work. In the 21st century however, Bill sees technology encroaching on his job, employment and happiness going down, and prison time going up. This is the model we will need to learn from if we are to prepare our children for the inevitable future of brains and machines.
This story isn’t as unfortunate as it sounds, however. McAfee tends to optimism about progress, and hopes that we will remain proactive in a future of challenges. He says we will soon embrace new social policies such as national minimum wage and eventually reform education from boring submission to education exploration. With these changes in place, we will be ready for anything society can throw at us.
- Are we the architects of our own obsolescence? (thepppeconomy.com)
- What happens after the droids take our jobs? Andrew McAfee at TED2013 (ted.com)
- Smart machines and the future of IP: What do I tell my grandchildren? (ipkitten.blogspot.com)