“Some jobs will survive”, that was the recurring theme throughout the articles in The Economist (January 18th-24th) about what today’s technology will do to tomorrow’s jobs. Technology is becoming more and more capable, and will only become more cost-effective in the future as an alternative to human labour, as a result of increasing computational power, connected data and capacity. The trend is that anything that can be automated and digitalised, will be. But the most important question has not been asked: what will human lives look like in 50 years?
We are saying goodbye to humankind and society as we now know them, in exchange for short term gratification in the form of convenience and economical optimisation. Human evolution is slowly grinding to a halt and being traded for guidance, optimisation and dependence on technology, irrevocably leaving less and less autonomy to the individual.
Yes, technology has always created new jobs. But never before have computers been able to reinvent, (re)build and implement themselves. Would independently evolving computers be able and willing to create human jobs? And do we want to live in a world where everything is being done for us, and where we as a species don’t play a significant role any more?