The Upside of the Automation Economy

People have been shouting from the rooftops for years now that machine learning, AI and job automation are coming, and they will disrupt society on a global level in a way never seen before in the history of the world.

Scary statistics are easy to find. 85% of customer service interactions will be handled by robots. The 3.5 million people who drive cars and trucks for a living will be out of a job. Those will be the first to go, followed soon after by educated professions like legal services. People are predicting surgeons will go the way of the dinosaur by 2050. In the short term, it’s said that 6% of the jobs in our economy are going to be erased just in the next 5 years.

Yeah, so, maybe rethink your plans to get a masters in folding laundry

Most people depict a bleak Blade Runner-esque future wherein the owners of the robots employed in what had been our job consolidate wealth and reap the benefits of all our collective incomes combined. But, I’m not a bleak guy. I’m an optimistic guy.

At least we’ll have noodles!

So, what will the economy look like after automation? Not to leave you hanging, I believe the educated unemployed of today are paving the way for what the future will look like for the rest of us once 40-50% of the employment opportunities across the globe are gone.

Just like we see in the unemployed and underworked population today, we’ll see a division in the attitudes and drive of folks. Many will demand a universal basic income. Many will stay at home and smoke weed all day. Many will try to pull themselves up by the bootstraps with cunning entrepreneurial endeavors. Many will do all of the above. But above all, people will have a great deal more time. And people with time invest in boredom relievers, pet projects and leisure activities.

Travel, education, TV and movies, caring for others. Sounds alright to me.