The most nagging question that we may have when we realize that more and more robots are taking over the job market is, what is going to happen with us humans? Then we may ask ourselves, are we all going to become unemployed in the end and all be considered “useless eaters,” as Henry Kissinger called the Third World people? Is there going to be any food for us to eat at all if we don’t earn any money by working? What will happen with housing? Will we all be homeless and have to live in tents and handmade cabins as they did in the 1800s?
These are all concerning questions, and I will do my best to answer them in this chapter by sharing my research on the subject and the conclusions I’ve made.
However, we first need to find out what plans the Controllers have in terms of the job market.
People, in general, have perhaps not started to reflect on how fast robots are taking over tasks on the job market, but soon enough they will see the inevitable trend. Robots are now getting cheaper and cheaper, and slowly but surely they start moving into our homes, hospitals, shopping malls, and restaurants on a more regular basis. People are beginning to complain that robots have been taking over their jobs; one example is Amazon.com, where robots now are entirely in control of loading orders on carts and driving them to the appropriate location in the warehouse. This huge investment will save the company many millions of dollars, but it also costs many workers their jobs. Other industries are quickly following in Amazon.com’s robotic footsteps.
The Mirror.co.uk reports on 3D-printers, implantable mobile phones, and clothes and reading glasses connected to the Internet as if it were science-fiction, but then adds that by 2025 this will be a reality. [Mirror.co.uk, Jan. 20, 2016, 'Intelligent' robots could be running your company within 10 years, experts warn]. The Mirror.co.uk is referring to a statement made by the World Economic Forum. However, there is another disturbing revelation; the same forum reports that AI will be sitting as corporate Boards of Directors within a decade.
The Mirror.co.uk recognizes the problems with unemployment and states the following:
The promise is cheaper goods and services, driving a new wave of economic growth. The threat is mass unemployment and a further breakdown of already strained trust between corporations and populations.
"There is an economic surplus that is going to be created as a result of this fourth industrial revolution," Satya Nadella, chief executive of Microsoft, told the WEF's annual meeting in Davos on Wednesday.
"The question is how evenly will it be spread between countries, between people in different economic strata and also different parts of the economy." [Mirror.co.uk, Jan. 20, 2016, 'Intelligent' robots could be running your company within 10 years, experts warn]
They also realize how we are quickly moving towards the Singularity by adding,
Robots are already on the march, moving from factories into homes, hospitals, shops, restaurants and even war zones, while advances in areas like artificial neural networks are starting to blur the barriers between man and machine. [Ibid. op. cit.]
This is, of course, a very serious concern, and Bloomberg.com reports that over 5 million jobs will be gone by 2020. [Bloomberg.com, Jan. 18, 2016, Rise of the Robots Will Eliminate More Than 5 Million Jobs]. This is based on a study that included 1.9 billion workers, which is about 65% of the global workforce. Bloomberg.com further addresses the issue:
The blurred lines between physical, digital and biological spheres amount to a Fourth Industrial Revolution, according to the WEF [World Economic Forum], which will address the idea as the idea at its annual meeting of policy makers, academics and economists in Davos, Switzerland. It’s already a hot topic thanks in part to books such as ‘The Second Machine Age’ and ‘The Rise of The Robots,’ while Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane has warned that the millions of jobs at risk from automation are creating issues officials need to address. [Ibid. op. cit.]
Apparently, women will lose most of the jobs because they are more poorly represented in fields such as mathematics, science, technology, and engineering than men are. In the beginning, administrative posts will have the worst mass unemployment, according to the same WEF survey.
Young people in today’s Britain feel that the educational system is failing to prepare them for the new job market. In a survey, 77% of former students said that they had to get additional education to be able to do their jobs after they had left the universities. [Mirror, co.uk, Jan. 19, 2016, “Robots will replace more than 5 MILLION jobs by 2020 - and women will be hit the hardest] In reality, the educational system has been disastrous for many decades already, but it is getting worse.
The huge problem is that we have become so industrialized that we can’t imagine a life without having a job within a company, an industry, or being self-employed, but usually still working in the midst of the job industry. When being laid-off and not having a chance to get a new job, many people will not know what to do with their time, and they will feel useless when not being able to contribute to the society. In 1977, Youngstown, Ohio, was a great example of this problem, after the steel mill, being the major employer in town, was shut down. When people no longer had jobs, criminality increased exponentially, and so did violence and spouse abuse. Alcoholism also became a big problem.
Most humans have forgotten how to be self-sufficient. Our society today does not encourage this, but actually makes it as hard as possible to choose that route. Being slave labor to an Elite that is getting richer and richer, while people in general are getting more and more worn down, is not a new phenomenon, it’s been the fate of mankind for the past couple of hundred thousand years. We are often clueless how to break this pattern. The slave becomes dependent on and dedicated to his or her slave master for survival—or so the slave thinks.
According to The Atlantic, we may have to start rethinking our standard of living because only people in their prime-age (25 to 54 years old) may be offered full-time jobs, and the overall wages will decrease. Even in today’s economic situation, one-sixth of people in their prime-age are not working; they are either unemployed or out of the workforce altogether. According to The Atlantic, under a sound economic system, almost all of these prime-agers would be working. [The Atlantic, Jul-Aug 2015, A World Without Work].
As it is now, wages are at the lowest (compared to relative inflation) since statistics on this matter were initiated in the mid-twentieth century; [Ibid.] and wages keep souring in the same manner. Although The Atlantic reports that there is not going to be a mass unemployment within the next decade, I think there is a great chance there will be, taking the current acceleration of technology into consideration. The Industry is not slacking on this subject; they can’t robotize the market fast enough. However, they still would need some kind of balance because there’s interdependence between human workers and the Industry. They pay us so we can use the money to put back into society by the usual commerce, which will benefit the same companies that paid us our wages in the first place. If too many people are unemployed, it also negatively affects the Industry. Alternatively, a new system of exchange could be implemented.
The Atlantic is revisiting an event that happen in the 1950s, related to Henry Ford II, the CEO of Ford. This event has become a classic. It is highly relevant to our current discussion, so I’d like to include it here:
In the 1950s, Henry Ford II, the CEO of Ford, and Walter Reuther, the head of the United Auto Workers union, were touring a new engine plant in Cleveland. Ford gestured to a fleet of machines and said, “Walter, how are you going to get these robots to pay union dues?” The union boss famously replied: “Henry, how are you going to get them to buy your cars?” [Ibid. op. cit.]
We all might think that there are quite a few jobs that cannot be robotized because they require human emotions and compassion to be able to serve their customers. We may need to seriously reconsider this idea, and here is an example from The Atlantic, telling us why we should:
In 2013, Oxford University researchers forecast that machines might be able to perform half of all U.S. jobs in the next two decades. The projection was audacious, but in at least a few cases, it probably didn’t go far enough. For example, the authors named psychologist as one of the occupations least likely to be “computerisable.” But some research suggests that people are more honest in therapy sessions when they believe they are confessing their troubles to a computer, because a machine can’t pass moral judgment. Google and WebMD already may be answering questions once reserved for one’s therapist. This doesn’t prove that psychologists are going the way of the textile worker. Rather, it shows how easily computers can encroach on areas previously considered “for humans only.” [Ibid. op cit.]
The statistics show, according to The Atlantic and its sources, that the majority of unemployed people, who have much more time at their convenience, do not socialize more, but less. Instead of socializing, most spend an average of 50 hours a week watching TV, and the rest of their time they spend eating and sleeping. The study implies that people who don’t have jobs feel inferior and don’t feel they want to take part in the community; of course there are exceptions.
A professor from the Stanford University recently suggested that in the very near future, people who are unemployed will spend more and more time in virtual reality games that will give them more pleasure and satisfaction than engaging in the “real” world: the professor does not see this as something negative but as something imaginative and creative. [Ibid.] Of course, in itself, this is very alarming, and based on what we now know, we can see why unemployment may be necessary for the Singularity to be achieved; it’s an introduction to virtual reality games for people who otherwise might not engage in such a thing.
Next page: A few Ideas how to solve Mass Unemployment