We’ve had a lot of debates and discussions about future jobs, so thought I’d link to this video by Isaac Arthur (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9yojxKs_Gc) that gives his take on the jobs of the future. I think it’s an interesting take if you are interested in the subject or just follow and like Isaac’s channel.
For those of us who are unable or unwilling to watch a video of whatever length, are you able to summarize what the person in the video is saying?
Sure, I can take a shot at it. Essentially what he’s saying is that a lot of the jobs of the future will be doing many of the jobs of today, but with technological enhancements. He does speculate on possible niche jobs that might spin out of this, but the reality from his perspective is that many of the jobs we do today we will still be doing…just using things like enhanced physical abilities via things like exoskeletons or other robotic enhancements, augmented reality and inter-connectivity at greater speeds, etc. To give an example from the video, say you have a local guy who has a good basic skill set. You want someone to repair your refrigerator. This guy isn’t an expert with refrigerator repair, but he has that basic skill set…plus he’s got augmented reality and maybe some robotic enhancements he can put on and plug into the household power grid. He can bring up an augmented reality overlay of the fridge, and even bring in some experts on the device if he needs too via the network and fix or repair the issue, or at least figure out what it is. This is just one example, but you can see how this would leverage human labor AND machine robotics and networks, data and augmented reality into something that can basically make someone many times more productive and effective than even today. I know that, in my job, I often will use internet resources for troubleshooting an issue, or just configuration of a new device or something I’ve configured in the past but haven’t done in years and want to brush up on how to do it. In the old days, you would have books on your books shelf that you’d go through, digging for the answer…and they wouldn’t be up to date, nor give you step by step guides, nor discuss the pitfalls of the current firmware or OS, or how to implement in a multi-vendor environment. Leveraging that into a single package or basically converging a bunch of currently disconnected technologies is what he’s really getting at. And, of course, this is going to open up whole new categories of jobs to support all of this, to maintain it and service it. There is more, of course, but that’s the thumb nail sketch.
How far into the future? I am going to assume that bipedal robots with the same level of manual dexterity as humans will be affordable and mainstream in ~50 years. Plus in 50 years artificial intelligence will be far more advanced.
At that point, what jobs are there that a human being would be needed to do?
He’s not talking about bipedal robots but instead wearable augmentation. Some of this is already out. I’ve seen videos of stuff that workers can use today, though my WAG is the costs are too high for this to be mainstream. The military has been working on exosuits that can be used to move supplies and the like (allowing workers to move hundreds of pounds with an apparent weight of 10’s). One of the big drawbacks today is battery technology isn’t there yet, but if we posit this stuff being in a factory or something like that you could just plug into the grid.
His time frame seems to be the next couple of decades, not farther down the line. He has other videos about post scarcity societies and extreme automation scenarios. His take in this video seems to be that this sort of tech isn’t coming soon, so instead what we’ll get is incremental change as we’ve been getting. Tools that allow better productivity and make things less risky or less dangerous…or just less wearing on the body.
Some, perhaps all, of this is not new. I was working in virtual reality during the 1990s and augmented reality was seen as one possible application for it. (Back then as well as today, it’s really a technology in search of a killer application.) And the wearable augmentation is, I think, being developed partly to help paralyzed soldiers and others move around.
I didn’t watch the 25-minute video, but this example doesn’t impress me.It’s just saying the obvious…life will go on, with a few updates to the software.
Your example says that a guy who has some basic skills plus a very professional tool kit including robotic limbs will call up “augmented reality” and “bring in experts” to fix something complicated.
How is that different from today?
Except that instead of an “augmented reality” of the circuit diagram we call it "Googling for the circuit diagram ", and instead of “Bringing in experts via the network” we watch a youtube video explaining how to do it.And then if we still need help, we bring in experts by posting questions on a professional forum.
Your description of the jobs of the future isn’t really news. It’s just the natural progression we’ve all seen, as tools gets better and internet connections get faster.
Auto mechanics today use tools and computers that were unheard of 30 years ago, so that an elderly mechanic who trained in 1970 and didn’t keep up with the new technology is unemployable.
Auto mechanics 30 years from now will use tools and computers that are newer and better…but not so different that an elderly worker won’t be able to use them.