Getting Prepared for Massive Changes in Employment

By The Millennium Project, Special for  USDR

World experts warn that without changes in political, economic, and educational systems and concepts of work and earning a living, large-scale global unemployment is very likely by 2050. “Such a disaster is not inevitable,” says Jerome Glenn, CEO of The Millennium Project. “The AI/Robotic future could be an age that releases extraordinary human creativity. Imagine a world where those who want could be augmented geniuses inventing their work day, every day, with new people, ideas, and experiences to make life worth living, and civilization far better than what we know  today.”

Participants commented on many factors changing the future of work due to advancing technology: “Technological unemployment will accelerate when Artificial Intelligence (AI) masters computer vision and learning how to learn… The concept of ‘unemployment’ will become obsolete replaced by freedom to create, to dream or to study, freed from the necessity of working for a living… Consolidate welfare systems and license and tax robots (like we do today for cars) and other technologies that replace jobs to fund guaranteed income systems… The tools and technologies of abundance are expanding faster than they can be expropriated… everything that can be automated will be… When AI begins to improve Deep Learning algorithms on its own, there is no telling what will happen. Unlike the industrial revolution, there will be no plateau in which human labor will have a chance to catch up… We need to start talking about a world without jobs  quickly.”

The factors rated the highest by the participants for creating more jobs/work by 2050 and preventing mass unemployment were: self-employment, freelancing, do it yourself support systems, incentives, and training; new economic and concepts; and crowd sourcing for finance and work. Nearly half the participants said that guaranteed lifetime income will be absolutely necessary or very important by 2050. Nearly twice as many participants expect the cost of living will go done due to future forms of AI robotic and nanotech manufacturing, 3D/4D printing, future Internet services, and other future production and distribution  systems.

The results will be published in the forthcoming “2015-16 State of the Future” report and used to create alternative work/technology scenarios 2050. These scenarios will be used to identify strategies to be assessed in national planning workshops initiated worldwide by the 55 Millennium Project Nodes. The results of the planning workshops will be assessed and published for public  discussion.

The Millennium Project is a global participatory think tank connecting 55 Nodes around the world that identify important long-range challenges and strategies, and initiate and conduct foresight studies, workshops, symposiums, and advanced training. Its mission is to improve thinking about the future and make it available through a variety of media for feedback to accumulate wisdom about the future for better decisions today. It produces the [annual “State of the Future” reports, the “Futures Research Methodology” series, the Global Futures Intelligence System (GFIS), and special studies. Over 4,500 futurists, scholars, business planners, and policy makers who work for international organizations, governments, corporations, NGOs, and universities have participated in The Millennium Project’s research since its inception, in 1992. The Millennium Project was selected among the top ten think tanks in the world for new ideas and paradigms by the 2013 and 2014 University of Pennsylvania’s GoTo Think Tank Index, and 2012 Computerworld Honors Laureate for its contributions to collective intelligence  systems.

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