Omar A. Obregon-Cuebas
Work is something that is ingrained in American DNA. From K-12 onward, the expectation is the same: get a job. However, wages are stagnant, class mobility has become a myth and as the large corporations grow, the core of the country stays still. The straw that breaks the contradictory back of capitalism, is A.I. and technology.
Imagine a world where little robots are cleaning your room, robot assistants help you plan your day and computers can predict the type of movies you would like. The future is here, and the consequences of it are now and forthcoming.
As technology advances through restrictions with a fast and furious pace, I think it’s time to look at the future that technology, specifically artificial intelligence can create for us.
In the coming years, the biggest factor in unemployment will be automatization. As machines advance, the need for labour becomes less and less. A.I. is poised to eliminate jobs that are repetitive in nature. When A.I. reaches general intelligence, that is the type of intelligence that humans have, many non-repetitive jobs can be replaced.
In our current capitalist system if A.I and technology replaces millions of jobs, the results would be catastrophic for those who stand to lose their jobs. The gap between unskilled and skilled labor would only deepen. While there would be increase of jobs they will more than likely be ones that are focused on developing and maintaining A.I.
However, A.I. theorists predict that some time after the development of an artificial general intelligence that a supertintelligence that suprasses human capacity will arise. If superintelligence occurs, most jobs become obsolete and that leaves a lot of people in need of money. This would more than likely lead to an economic and social crisis., and even if A.I. did not automatically replace most jobs, we should look to it as a function that does.
Working all day does not allow us to spend time with families, we are instead occupied with finding ways to feed ourselves and support those same families. We have less time to ourselves, as we sell our time to have a roof over our heads. We have less time for art, which I believe is a foundational aspect of our existence, instead we have to spend time finding ways to pay for our medicine.
While work has been a component of human existence for a long time, that does not mean we are bound to work for the rest of time. We will have the capabilities to end work as we know it, and reap from the benefits of the technological advancements that have occurred over history.
In a society where there exists no work, there could be an infinite potential for the advancement of the human condition. In a post-work world, you can be whoever you want to be on your own terms. No more selling your time, you own your time and are free to do as you please.
You may say, who will run the starbucks, the fire stations, construction, garbage trucks? A.I. and robots! What do they run on? Batteries. Who fixes them? Other robots. Transferring our need of work to robots would mean that salary and wages would disappear. People could instead receive a universal basic income that would be given to us by our government.
We should destroy the present world and create a new one, that is destroy this system, end this era and enter the post-work era. This era is defined by your ability to devote your time to what you want to. If you are a person who finds fulfillment from work then you can continue doing so, but you would not need to. We can continue living not for ourselves but for work, or we can build for the future, build for ourselves and use A.I. as the tightrope between this stage of humanity and the next one.