Yes, AI will take your job- and it's a good thing
Yes, AI will take your job. Computers and robots will eliminate a lot of jobs in the coming decades. If your job can be automated, it will be. And sooner rather than later. And it’s a good thing. Let me explain:
If given a choice, many people would rather do something else than their current work. That’s why people pay money for lottery tickets. Indeed today, most people are busy doing relatively boring things. A lot of it is repetitive work. Or physically exhausting. Or unpleasant. Or all three combined.
But we take pride in our work, even if it is burdensome. It is what defines us, it’s the answer we can give when people ask us “What do you do?”. That is why the elimination of current jobs frightens us. But it shouldn’t:
If you watch old movies, you see many professions that do not exist anymore. Think of typists, who were busy typing and re-typing letters. Or just go to a developing country, where people are doing things manually that we would never ask anyone to do in a modern society. So this kind of change is nothing new, but it’s happening much faster than before.
My company, Hyperganic, is working on AI-driven software for the future of manufacturing. And this future will involve very few people. There is this joke: How many people do you need to run a modern factory? Answer: A man and a dog. The man’s job is to make sure all the machines are running and the dog is there to bite the man, whenever he tries to touch anything.
Hyperganic, Lin Kayser’s revolutionizing AI manufacturing company
We believe the future of manufacturing will largely be driven by advanced industrial 3D printers. These printers produce objects directly from raw materials like metal powder, essentially without human interaction, by mimicking the way nature works. The products these printers produce are more complex than anything we have developed in the past. And the cost of a product is only determined by the type and amount of material used — not by the sophistication and complexity of an object. It’s a complete departure from our current world of standardized and simplified (= boring) objects that are all around us.
With 3-D Printers, you can create literally everything – with little cost constraints
But you can also clearly see that humans will not be involved in this manufacturing process.
So what will we humans do, when all is said and done?
Some people think we are headed towards some kind of nirvana of laziness, where everybody is just sitting around playing video games and living off a Universal Basic Income. I find this vision quite dystopian. Instead, I hope we will simply move to the next level of work. Enjoyable work, that is rewarding and exhilarating — something only very few people currently experience.
A future of pure leisure might sound appealing to some, but I believe our striving for achievement is wired into our genes. Deep inside, humans want to be challenged and want to make meaning. And the future of work will allow us to pursue these goals on a deeper level.
So going back to manufacturing. How will we design these objects that will end up on the printer? Will we sit there, drawing schematics, like highly specialized engineers and designers are doing right now?
I don’t think so. This is where AI and smart computer algorithms will come into play. Whether you are an engineer or a layperson, you will describe objects, parts, entire products in much more abstract terms and then the computer will go to work and design it for you, refining it in response to your feedback. And this will make us go from consumers to creators — it opens up the fields of engineering and product design to all of us.
A shift of mentality thanks to AI and 3-D Printing: going from consumers to creators
And deep inside, everyone is a creator. There are some people, who claim they are not creative. Well give them a bunch of Lego blocks and lock them in a room for an hour. You will be amazed at what you see.
I believe all the currently converging technologies will help us to move from a world of repetitive, uninspired and boring work to a world, where people can create the most amazing things, using the advanced tools that we are already beginning to have at our disposal.
And that is something, I think everybody can look forward to.
These insights were written by Serial Entrepreneur Lin Kayser. He attended as a speaker at the Future of Leadership Conference from February 28th to March 1st 2018.
Pictures from: Hyperganic.com