Artificial Intelligence will eliminate millions of jobs.
While many of us are willing to accept that there are jobs that will be replaced by AI in our lifetime, we still believe in the lasting power of our own work.
This is a mistake.
Conventional wisdom would have us believe that only the most routine of jobs are at risk, but this just isn’t the case.
It’s not just trucking, assembly lines, and blue collar jobs.
In fact, AI will be replacing and drastically altering many jobs that few would consider “routine.”
Chris Orlob from Gong.io shared a glimpse into the future of sales coaching with AI-powered analysis of over 25 thousand sales calls.
Even if a sales coach listened to 45-minute sales calls for 8 hours a day, it would take them 9 years to analyze this data, assuming they take 0 vacation days and use their nights and weekends to actually deliver the feedback. It is impossible for any sales coach or manager to deliver this kind of insight.
A sales coach is not typically considered a routine job.
Marketing jobs are hardly any safer. Conde Nast is using Watson’s incredible processing power to locate influencers for brands based on data that would take a human years to analyze.
Graphic designers aren’t being put out of work quite yet, but AIs are actively working on the ability to understand and categorize images.
Last year, The Next Rembrandt project used AI to analyze the 17th century Master’s work and 3d printed a new portrait. Intuitive and independent image creation isn’t far off.
At the moment, we’re happy to outsource our scheduling to a virtual assistant who can work 24/7, but AI is on the verge of putting us all out of work, and there is very little we can do to stop it.
Is this really a bad thing?
When someone say, “People need jobs!” they are really saying, “People need a way to earn a livelihood.” Up until now, the two were inseparable: If people were not working, value was not being created in the economy, and society as a whole suffered-
But we’re entering a time when this equation holds less and less truth.
The future of AI job creation is one where we all could share in the value created by the machine laborers.
Maybe that means fewer jobs and the rise of job sharing. Maybe that means shorter work weeks or basic incomes.
Maybe it means no one ever having to do a job that they hate-
Yet this is a very uncomfortable thought exercise for many of us. We structure our lives around the work week, and jobs have become how we frame meaning and value.
Imagining a world of no jobs, or less work, feels, somehow… wrong.
But this can’t be an excuse for ignoring this possible future.
The question is this: will we be active participants in thinking about and creating this new world, or will we hold onto to a fading notion that somehow, magically our way of life will be safe?
Care about this conversation, it is the future, and it is being created right now.
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