Back in 2000 AD, I wrote FORECASTS2000.
Then in 2005 AD, I
2005. This is the 2017 update
The fact is, business is requiring fewer workers in
the instance of public transport.
Ten years ago, taxis
were an expensive luxury. The profit went to the wealthy who
could afford $500,000 for a set of plates, and to the owner of the
radio network, who skimmed 10% on credit card charges.
Then, in the last three
years came UBER. Suddenly plates are not worth anything, and the
new networker has a cheaper credit model.
The future is self
driving cars. Combine that with competing booking agents and the
cost of personal transport "door to door" will drop below the cost of
bus transport "bus stop to bus stop".
And when parking issues
are considered, hiring a driverless car from Avis or Hertz will be
cheaper and more convenient than owning your own car. Already I
can hire a car in Sydney for $25/day. That works out to be
$1.04/hr. Which is lots cheaper than Uber.
And, of course, all those
taxi drivers, bus drivers, transport inspectors, and other support jobs
will cease to exist.
That model can be
extended to trains, road transport, delivery (by drone).
will extend to all employment
- Shopping is already under threat by online
deliveries and self serve.
- Warehousing and other labouring work will be
done by robots.
- Agriculture will be mechanized, probably
vegetables grown in greenhouses and artificial proteins synthesized.
- Professionals will no longer be required.
- Home medical analyzers connected to your
computer will warn of medical problems. Robots will do the
- Lawyers will become obsolete with computer
advisers. Judgements will be made by machines.
- Engineering will be a matter of assembling
- Entertainment will continue the move to cartoon
characters and computer generated storylines.
- Accommodation will move to bnb style.
- Clerical positions will go.
- Car repairs are already largely automated.
- Police and armies will be supplanted by
military style robots.
NO ONE WORKING. SO HOW WILL WE LIVE?
Good question. So perhaps we should start looking for a solution
for that now. But maybe not. Maybe "The Singularity" will
provide a solution?
FACTOID: It is calculated that about 2017 the computing power of
equal the computing power of the human brain.
With appropriate software,
that computer could perform any intellectual task performed by
man. Of course developing such software might take a few years,
but my guess is somewhere between 2 and 8 years, with median at 4 years.
Which leads to the concept of "The Singularity". That is
a term for what is expected to happen when computers become smarter
economics named William Noordhaus has explained it succinctly:
Let an ultra intelligent machine be
defined as a machine that can surpass all the intellectual
activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is
one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could
design even better machines; it is then possible that there would be
an intelligence explosion.
intelligence of man would be left far
Thus the first
ultraintelligent machine is the last invention
that man need ever make.
THAT IS THE SINGULARITY.
So, no need to look for a solution
to unemployment. Just ask the singularity!
Our biggest problem will be how to use all that leisure time.
This page concept originated 24 September 1997, Updates 24 November
1998. Y2K added on 14 December '98, minor changes 24 Dec, 4 Jan, 4
April, 10 July/99;.8 Sept. 1999, major update 21 November 1999,
reviewed 18 January
For corrections, complaints, comments, opinions email