I know the title is a bit gloomy, but believe me, things are going into that direction. I don’t know if you read about the first robot who got an official identity, Sophia. Sophia is now an official citizen of Saudi Arabia.
There’s a lot of PR in this, there’s a lot of lateral information in all the AI and robot news (meaning it’s a hot topic and media outlets are trying to sell themselves with hot topics, so what else is new, right?) but the truth is that a harsh is reality coming closer and closer to us.
We’re on the verge of a huge disruption. Industrial revolution created the assembly line, information revolution created the connected human hive (also knows as the Internet), the robots revolution will create a world in which tedious, repetitive tasks will be handled by pre-programmed machines. It’s all good but, hey, most of what we call jobs nowadays are consisting of tedious, repetitive tasks. I’m not talking about “wedges” factories. I’m talking about jobs like customer support, flight search and checking, online groceries shopping and so on.
It’s a bit frightening if you take 5 minutes off and start to write down all the tasks that can be automated in your life. You’ll be left with a very small number of “human-only”, “irreplaceable” activities.
The Key Word: Unpredictability
While I did this exercise, I realized a surprising detail: all the jobs that cannot be handled over to robots are actually unpredictable tasks. AI, and robots, are based on average results calculated on a huge universe of input data. If they see that 1000 questions got the same response 800 times, they will give a higher chance of accuracy to that answer broadcasted 800 times. So AI is based on “initial data”.
That finding was a bit of a relief, to be honest. I’m not afraid for myself, I think I could do relatively well in a world full of robots, but it’s not only about me. As you get older, you realize the importance of a healthy social circle. It’s not enough that you’re ok, in your own little bubble. It’s important that you have healthy social interactions outside your bubble too.
And if this “outside” is turned upside down by a big disruption, you’ll feel quite lonely.
So, what exactly can we do, as humans, to survive this revolution?
The short answer: whatever is unpredictable. Whatever cannot be formalized into mathematical structures. Whatever strange, ineffable and unexplainable stuff we can come up with.
Sculpting. Especially Picasso-like stuff.
Anything that involves one-to-one counseling, as humans will always be able to understand other humans beyond the standard answers provided by an AI software.
Psychology. Dance therapy. Professional traveler consultants. Singing.
And, probably, why not, Highly Unpredictable Bloggers.