Just some quick thoughts..
I was listening to a .Net Rocks podcast the other day , when they mentioned (somewhere towards the end) about a post-automation world where only developers would still have jobs. And that’s a thought that has been sitting idle in the back of my mind for ages (more like over a decade). So what does happen when everything is automatized? Sure there’ll still be jobs, but not so many.. Developers will have their jobs secured most likely forever (or untill an AI takes over even that aspect, but that’s unlikely, see this). There was also one podcast episode (I can’t remember the podcast) where the everything was automatized and only Quality Control jobs were left.
So what happens with jobs in a fully automatized world, where everything from service (ex: hotels, room cleaning) to production (factories, agriculture) is done by machines or computers?
For instance factories are allready highly automatized, in most factories you’ll see large spaces occupied by machinery and very few people. And each year the number of people in those factories is declining. One more job is automatized..
But that’s not the first time in history people are starting to lose jobs to machinery. It all has been started by the Industrail Revolution. Manual labour being replaced by machines. And you don’t see 3/4 of the world being uneployed. People find new jobs, new opportunities.
And you may have noticed an interesting phenomenon in the last decade, as things get more and more industrialized, people get more and more interested in artizanal products. And here is your answer. The more this world gets automatized, the more people will switch to artizanal stuff and DIY. Sure you’ll have very cheap products, but you’ll also have the option to buy hand crafted products, buy veggies from small farms grown by human farmers. And don’t forget art, more artists, creating art everywhere and in everything.
When CDs were introduced, people thought that LPs and Turntables will dissapear. And as it is true, the majority gave up on the LPs, there is a new trend where people start getting turntables and scavenging for vintage LPs. Tube amplifier? Seen one of those at your grandad’s? Whell it’s the new hipe again.
So no, once everything can be automated, people will do more of what they want instead of just working for a living, and that will most probably be more artisanal stuff because people are creators. I have trust in what future brings us, but I don’t expect to live to the day we end up being a post-automation society.