This is just a brief post on a topic I may explore in much greater depth on a different blog, writing under a different pseudonym. For now, just have a look at the first few minutes of this video: Schichtwechsel, die Roboter übernehmen. It’s available in German and French, but just mute it if you don’t understand either language. Instead, look at what those robots are doing.
You will see robots performing intricate assembly maneuvers in factories, but also robots in domains where you may not have expected them. I was quite surprised by the cooking robot that is able to produce a high-quality meal. Details are not really that important, though. Instead, the bigger picture is that automation will eliminate countless jobs. Unlike with previous industrial revolutions, there won’t be many other areas humans could work in. Recall that the Great Recession of 2008 and beyond led to dramatic job losses, and the subsequent gains were primarily in low-skilled service work. Pundits also spoke of a jobless recovery, partly due to automation.
I think we will see two main trends: a lot of manual work will disappear. There will always be a demand for human labor, catering to the whims of the rich. Just like you can by artisan chocolate for an inflated price nowadays, while the rabble buys mass manufactured products, future MGTOWs that are flush with cash will be able to use the services of high-class escorts. Joe Plumber, on the other hand, will need to make do with a VR headset and a robot vagina. The mainstream will be automation due to some combination of hardware and software.
Highly qualified work will also be affected. The other day I read a somewhat boisterous post by a guy bragging about his life as a radiologist, claiming he is making $500k a year, just looking at a bunch of image files a day, with 20 weeks of vacation. Well, buddy, in a couple of years an image recognition software will have eaten your lunch. That’s just one example. One industry that will be hit very hard may be finance, at least judging by the tremendous amounts of money investors have been betting on so-called FinTech startups, and if the traditional finance industry will be disrupted, I predict we will see some civil unrest. This won’t be so much due to ex-bankers rioting in the streets but because the average Joe will realize that something profound must be going on if professions that used to be safe bets for a career no longer guarantee a living.