Welcome to Thought Experiment #8.
At the beginning of each second month, a thought experiment question will be tweeted under the hashtag #ThoughtExperiment and everyone is invited to participate with their own posts, these will then go live together on the 15th of the next month (you can still join in after this date). Below is the question asked for this Thought Experiment.
Thanks to Sonia from Money For The Modern Girl for the awesome question.
I recently read a statistic that 85% of the jobs there will be in 2030 have not yet been created. What do you think these jobs are, and which ones will no longer exist? What does this mean for education? What will offices look like in 11 years? Will people continue to commute to a physical office or will remote work and digital nomadism take over? Finally, how do you think this will affect the overall global economic balance?
As always tweet @SavingNinja if you have participated and I’ll add your post to the list below!
Thought Experiment #8
Money For The Modern Girl
Halt Catch Fire
My vision of the future is somewhat dramatic. A lot of people who I have wagged tongues with have scoffed at these predictions, although these were the same people who believed that electric cars wouldn’t become the dominate automobile for another century.
I think these thoughts have taken precedence in my mind from the fact that I’m heavily immersed within the software and technology industry.
I also read…a lot.
Or maybe it’s just that these theories excite me. Whatever the cause, I don’t just want these things to happen, I thoroughly believe that they will, and soon!
I believe that within the next 10 years…
We will become a multi-planetary species.
We will create some form of super-AI.
We will create a fully functioning quantum computer.
We will extend our life expectancy by unparalleled amounts.
If we’ve not solved these problems within the next 10 years, I think that we’ll at least be very close.
So, with these somewhat extreme thoughts in my head, what do I think will happen to people’s jobs? How will the economy change? What will be the future of work?
Adapting to the Future
The world will be going through a growth period of unprecedented change. With the creation of super-AI, technological advances will be occurring at a rate in which we will struggle to keep up.
The world will see an even bigger shift towards using AI for almost everything. AI will take the jobs of surgeons, teachers, builders, even hairdressers. Who needs to go to school when you can connect your brain to a super-computer and learn everything within seconds?
We can see this shift starting to happen already. Whilst the majority of the UK struggles with mass unemployment due to factory and shop workers being replaced with AI, the software industry is booming.
Even with hugely inflated salaries and signing bonuses on offer, every single company I’ve spoken to is struggling to fill developer positions. There simply aren’t enough developers to satisfy the massive investments being funneled into technology.
As the economy moves more in this direction the only people that will thrive will be the intellectuals who are adaptable and quick to learn. The blue-collar workers which were a vital part of our economy in the past will no longer be needed as the world turns more cybernetic.
Some people simply can’t adapt and struggle to learn new technologies. I know this as my parents are people just like this, they struggle to even use a smartphone. In the vast majority of cases, these people tend to be part of the older generation.
Admittedly, some older individuals seem to just have the knack for adapting (ever seen an 85-year-old woman with an iPhone?) But I’ve not met many youths who lack this special ability, growing up in a world of rapid change probably has something to do with the forming of this superpower.
The world will go through a period of fight or flight for the unadaptables, they’ll suffer unemployment and potentially extreme poverty as a result. The younger generation or the government will be forced to financially support their aging family. Uneducated and lower-income areas will be forced to protest and riot as they simply won’t have the means to support themselves with their now obsolete skills.
How will we Adapt?
As a society, we’ve been through changes like this before. How do you think the miners reacted when their life long skills became obsolete when they were replaced by machines?
These periods are fraught with extreme struggle as the world shifts its balance, but we as a collective always get through them eventually.
The sad fact of the matter is that the unadaptable will eventually die of old age. The education system would have changed enough to ensure that each child growing up in this new world is sufficiently equipped to be a part of it.
How will the Economy Change?
As we venture out into the cosmos and expand our habitats, undoubtedly the people of Earth as a whole will take on a more united, ‘single entity’ viewpoint. No more will we have petty segmentations like ‘China’ and ‘The United States’, we will become Earthlings!
Broadened horizons will need the formation of a singular government to represent earth and help progress occur with the planets’ best interests at heart. A single government would also make travel and relocating extremely easy, obliterating the caveman-like tradition of being confined to the tiny spit of land in which you were born. This will also pave the way for a singular currency to be used throughout Earth.
Having a world currency would obliterate a lot of the world’s problems, we wouldn’t have to worry about exchange rate fluctuation or inflation based destruction. Having a singular currency would make the world your country, you’d be able to easily live and work anywhere, there would be no boundaries.
Travel and Remote Work
We’re already seeing a huge trend in remote work in the big tech hubs of the United Kingdom. As software becomes more reliable and easily obtained companies are realising that employees can work just as well (if not better) at home than they can in the office.
Some forward-thinking companies have even done away with the office altogether, cutting their costs drastically.
The next 10 years will see the trend continue until almost all software jobs will be remote-focused. The introduction of advanced holographic and virtual lenses into the workplace will allow colleagues to completely simulate meetings and discussions whilst bolstering the tools available to them.
Companies will no longer be limited to the talent in the local vicinity, they’ll have the whole world at their disposal. Whole swathes of land will become available to be developed into living space and recreational areas, increasing the average house sizes and quality of life for everyone.
Travel to anywhere in the world will become extremely quick and easy with transportation advances allowing you to live in Hong Kong and get to a face to face meeting in London in just 34 minutes.
Increased travel speed and remote working capabilities will drastically reduce the need to live in the inner city. London property prices will crash to depths they’ve never before seen as the city goes from the to-be place to desolate. The government will have to focus heavily on refurbishing and transforming all of the empty commercial buildings into living hubs in order to make it more attractive.
It’s a Good Thing in the End
No matter the struggle that we will have to go through to change, when we do adapt - and we will - it will be worth it.
The world will be a much more equal and compassionate place. As the borders evaporate, there will be less segmentation and hatred amongst the population. We will be able to advance as a single civilization and reach beyond the heavens without our bitter anger and patriotism holding us back.
People will be excited again as we move towards an ever-expanding future. We will be rid of disease and unnecessary suffering. Old age will no longer be fleeting and it will be able to be enjoyed with generations of family.
It’s a world in which I’d definitely like to live in.
How about you?