47% of Americans jobs are at risk of being replaced by some level of computer automation in a decade or two. That is what a 2013 Oxford University study, by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, preconizes based on the advances in Machine Learning and Mobile Robotics technology. The social and economic impacts of those disruptive technologies might be felt even sooner given the size, focus and pace of investments in those areas by tech behemoths like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Apple among many others. The size and breadth of those impacts are also described by the World Economic Forum work about the 4th Industrial Revolution, which is already in its course. Those studies and few others that I will write about in the future show how broadly those technologies will continuously swallow jobs worldwide in areas we thought to be "human only" before, including Social Intelligence, Creativity and yet Perception and Manipulation. New cloud services, AI, and big data management are enablers of those advances.
The vast majority of the jobs eliminated on the next wave of tech innovation will be typically middle-class jobs. That will affect the social pyramid and the global economy directly, and your life as you know it. The middle class is the bigger spender, and so our economy depends on it. Some new and recycled solutions to soften out the effects of such revolution are coming back to the center of the debate. A good example is the creation of a "Global Basic Income" as a way to re-distribute the wealth generated by such technologies and alleviate social disparities and the clash of the middle class. That would come in the form of a paycheck for every citizen. Some time ago that could be considered utopia, but no longer it is. It is also a given that such debate will take a long time to get a practical outcome.
That changes everything. We need to find solutions and faster. When that wave hits you in the neck, you want to know what to do the next day. How to become productive again and develop expertise in areas not replaced by an algorithm. What are the right skills to acquire to succeed or even in which direction you point your kids to prep them for this new future? Fundamental questions will rise with no apparent answers. Remember, even if you start swimming now, this wave will catch you in the next few years.
Time to act. The impacts of this revolution will be felt sooner than later given the fast pace of technology innovation. And that means we need to find solutions to cross the bridge to this new future. The solution will require a new framework for how we think work and education in the new context. New tools and systems will have to help you to navigate those uncertainties and engage on new solutions.
collectivebrains.org is a space for collective thinking, to better understand and define the problem, to find solutions and connect investors with solutions developers. Our field of study is the future of work and future of education in a tech-empowered society. Only collectively we can define encompassing projects that will bring real solutions to such broad and fast revolution. One aspect of that future is becoming clearer - you will need to drive full time your development and take full responsibility for your success (and not depend on any company or business to do it for you). In this case, you might not want your job back!
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