Future Jobs: Will You Become Terminally Unemployable?

Welcome everybody! In this week’s episode, we’ll talk about what jobs will be lost in 10 to 20 years as a result of various forces acting on the job markets.

Enjoy!

 

 

shadow-ornament

We are going to talk about 3 things today;

We are going talk about the forces that are changing the labor markets,

Then, we’ll talk about which jobs will be lost as a result of these forces,

And finally what you can do to safeguard yourself and your family from the impact of this transition.

Please pay close attention to this video, because what you will learn, may very well be the difference between having a multimillion dollar career or being terminally unemployable within as little as 10 years.

To be able to predict any change in future jobs, we need to first understand the forces acting on the current job market. Because if there were no forces, then tomorrow’s job market would be exactly like today’s

So, let’s find out what is changing the trajectory of the labor markets.

I don’t want to spend an hour talking about this so I’ll go as quickly as I can

here we go

The first force is Globalization.

This is not new. But the rate of increase is becoming exponential. It started with trade agreements, then social unions like EU, and now we are getting closer to having one currency and one language.

Now, people who speak English as a second language outnumber the native speakers by a ratio of three to one.

This is pretty obvious and visible. We can see the change very clearly in our lives. For example, a German car worker, costs more than 50 dollars an hour including benefits, as opposed to a robot which costs about 5 dollars an hour. Plus, robots don’t really go on strikes.

Yet!

Which ties the topic to the 3rd force;

Artificial Intelligence

AI itself is both a force itself but also an enabler. It makes the automation and use of robots a lot more effective. Use of robots has been available to us for the past 50 years. But their growth has always been mainly linear. We didn’t have exponential growth. The reason is that robots until now needed to be preprogrammed.

They have been pretty stupid so far. They are input output bound. They didn’t have the capacity to analyze environments, create neural networks, and establish deep learning.

Things are changing now. I am sure you must have heard of IBM’s Watson and Google’s DeepMind.

For example last year, Alpha Go DeepMind’s AI, beat world’s best Go Player Lee Sedol in a game of 3 matches.

Now, this was a big deal. Because, in case you are not familiar with game Go, there are more board configurations in the game than the atoms in the visible universe. SO, there are 10 to the power 170 board configurations. Meaning, there is no way a software can play the game through force calculations of its preprogram. It learned how to play just like how humans do, it created neural networks, developed strategies,

and it even created strategies that were considered wrong moves by human experts but ended up being incredibly smart at the end of the game. The game was amazing. I actually watched the whole live stream of the first match, it was around 4 hours.

Let’s move on to other forces.

Now, these were the major forces that are shaping labor force at the macro level. But we also have micro forces, such as; shifting demographics, meaning the fact that the labor force is getting older,

access to information, meaning you can learn almost anything online now, affecting many industries. For example, people don’t have MBA degrees to learn information anymore. They created different USPs to stay competitive.

And then, we have now decentralized work environments, like, now more people are working at home,

Another one is 3-D Printing.

There are more forces at work but these are powerful enough to shape the future of labor markets.

Before I move on to the timeline and show you which industries and skills will become obsolete, I want to tell you what the drivers are for these forces.

I mean what fuels these forces. Because if you can understand the drivers, then you’ll understand the longevity and impact of these forces.

And if you look at each one of these, you will realize that they are all fueled by one thing. All of these forces get their energy from 1 thing.

You know what it is?

It’s the need for profit maximization. In broader terms, capitalism.  As long as we live in capitalism, human kind will continue to progress, until we are faced with an existential crisis.

So, the transition will work this way.

It will start with individual tasks individual activities. So, the jobs as professions will not necessarily disappear as a whole. For example, you are an accountant, you will have to do book keeping, financial accounting, management accounting, reporting, etc.

Now, with the effect of all these forces, AI will do book keeping, reporting, and financial accounting, and you will be left to do only management accounting. So, the profession will not be erased immediately but 1 person will be able to do the work of 1,000 people because you are only doing a very small part of series of tasks that are automated. Makes sense?

So, that’s how it will start.

Let’s now get to our timeline and see which jobs will be lost.

I am sure the last one will come as a big surprise to all of you.

Alright, let’s start with the first one;

An insurance firm from Japan, [Fu-koku Mutual Life Insurance] has just recently replaced 100s of its insurance claims representatives with, do you know with what? IBM Watson. And I was reading a recent interview with their CEO, he was saying that the results are overwhelmingly positive.

Next one;

Retail & Service Industry

A service sector involves predictable physical activities. Take this item from here, deliver it there. It’s a perfect environment for robots. And it also involves operating some sort of machinery—including preparing, cooking, or serving food; cleaning,  preparing hot and cold beverages; and collecting dirty dishes. Most of these activities will be replaced.

Transportation

Now, This is inevitable and will be one of the first industries to go away. Maybe it started with Tesla, but you’ll see within 2 years that most other major car and truck manufacturers will perfect their technologies of autonomous driving.

We will have much fewer drivers.

We may still need a lead driver in a convoy, and the auto-trucks following behind.

Next,

Military & All Security Forces

The military will most likely pursue some form of automation that reduces the logistics costs and remove soldiers from combat deployments. Most recent wars other than the world wars have been fought by super powers against relatively weaker opponents. So, imagine if that trend continues. The weaker nation will have humans defending their countries against the robots of the stronger nation.

Next,

Construction and Manufacturing

Manual labor jobs are also under threat by automation. Robotic bricklayers are already in place.

Meet SAM (Semi-Automated Mason). This machine can lay up to 1,200 bricks a day. That’s 4 times more than a regular human can do. And it can work nonstop 24/7.

There is also 3-D printing. We will soon have giant 3D printing machines constructing most physical stuff we see around us.

Next,

IT – Software

To start with, anything to do in cloud, software development, beta testing, app development, anything to do with IT on the software side will be almost instantly wiped out once the AI is at a certain level and available for public use. Probably within 5 to 10 years.

Bill Gates said this in an interview in 1992. He predicted that soon we will tell our computers what software we need, and it will write it for you within seconds.

Now, it took a lot longer than he predicted. But we are almost there.

AI will have capabilities to run millions of lines of codes within a second.

Another one of these industries to be affected is Accounting

The data entry component of bookkeeping has almost been eliminated already by automation and cloud accounting ecosystems. So, the technology already exists and it is already used, it’s just not mainstream - yet.

Now, soon, the management accounting part, will also be done by AI. As of now, the management accounting part is still done by humans. But not for long.

Next, is; Finance – Banking and Trading

So, it all started with ATMs. ATMs made a lot of bank tellers obsolete. Then solutions like PayPal helped us carry out online transactions, and now with AI, jobs that have anything to do with even trading will be obsolete. Most trading is already done through high-frequency trading software. The only difference is there is still a human being pre-programming that software. They still manually code various levels of support and resistance and historical data.

Post-AI, there won’t be a need to preprogram it. This means millions of financial analysts, traders, researchers, will all be out of jobs. It will a battle between smartest AI solutions competing and trading against each other.

Next, Farmers

Farmers are already being replaced by artificially intelligent robots that can do everything from seeding to pulling lettuce off the ground. It’s already an existing technology and will only be enhanced in future until the infrastructure cost goes down enough to replace labor costs.

Next,

Arts & Entertainment

Now this a controversial one. Many believe that human creativity will never be outmatched. I have a different opinion. In my opinion, it’s just matter of testing. AI can run billions of simulations per second, test, revise, test, revise continuously until it gets the perfect “liking score” from human emotions. Now, that’s the reason we may never be able to beat AI in arts and entertainment.

IBM Watson is already producing songs and movie trailers by the way. You should watch it. It’s pretty scary actually.

Now another controversial one; Scientists

Us, Humans aren’t necessarily very good in dealing with big data. We can’t analyze data points beyond a certain level.

There are entire branches of science—climate modeling and genomics, for example—that wouldn’t exist without powerful microprocessors and automation. As of now, wherever there’s work that’s too tedious, time-consuming, or boring you’ll find a robot doing the work.

We do most of the “thinking” but again if our only differentiator is our ability think, what happens when something else can think faster and smarter.

Now, let’s talk about which I believe will be the last frontier. IT Hardware

I believe it will be one of the last jobs to be lost in future. In transition towards 100% AI and automation lead economy and society, we will need millions of hardware engineers, designing and building the robots and infrastructure that artificial intelligence can use.

So, the hardware engineering side of IT will rise again. They have been forgotten for quite a long time. For a very long time, software engineers made higher salaries and created greater opportunities for their careers. I have a feeling that it will reverse.

In future, probably around 10 to 15 years from now, we’ll hit a certain threshold that AI will have the capabilities to create its own infrastructure and supply raw material. That’s where 3D printing in various materials will come into play.

And the funny thing is, there will be so many jobs created to build the infrastructure for AI to have infrastructure building capabilities which will wipe out all remaining jobs.

This is where my English is failing me. I hope you see my point.

And eventually…… all jobs will be lost. There is nothing you can do that an AI with the right hardware that itself develops, can’t do.

This is probably just 15 to 20 years down the line. Not too distant future. Most of you will still be alive to see it.

Before I talk about how you can potentially safeguard yourself, I want to talk about how confident I am of these predictions.

See, humans grow linearly. Hmm? But technology grows exponentially. This is the law of accelerating returns. So, fundamental measures of information technology follow predictable and exponential trajectories.

Also, a deep note here, these aren’t necessarily my predictions. No single person can claim a future prediction.  Various reports have already outlined these, including one from PwC Consulting and one from Oxford University, and there are numerous futurists like Ray Kurzweil.

What you see on the timeline is also only a small fraction of the industries that will be lost. So, if your industry isn’t on the table. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be fine. That’s why I started the presentation with talking about the forces.

So, we’ll have this kind of negative, actually horrendous outcome,  As long as those forces continue to exist,

And these forces will continue to exist, as long as we have the driver of profit maximization

And we will continue to have the driver of profit maximization, as long as we live in capitalism.

And we will continue to live in capitalism, as long as we value human progress. Because the free markets are the natural state of trade.

So, unless our need for human progress disappears, we will end up with a doom’s day scenario.

That definitely sounds counterintuitive.

But is there anything wrong in my thought process?

Am I missing something?

Feel free to challenge my logic.

And hey I am not even talking about AI becoming so powerful that it decides to terminate the human kind. That’s not what I am concerned about. That’s probably 40-50 years away.  I am just simply concerned about their capabilities in the short to mid term, 10 to 20 years. And of course, I am concerned about the unfair advantage it gives to whoever controls it.

If you are in your 20s, a decade in future probably feels like very distant future to you now. And that's understandable. After all, it’s half of the life you lived so far.

But once you hit your30s and 40s, you realize that a decade is really nothing. It flys by.

Then, What to do?

How can we still benefit from this transition?

There are numerous things you can potentially do to prevent a very negative scenario happening to you or your children.

I’ll talk about only 3 of them here, and the last one is what I am personally doing.

1st one is obviously, developing skills that will be wiped out much later in the time scale.

2nd option is to have your own company, instead of being an employee, you can be an employer. You can own your company. But the problem with that is the markets at that time will be incredibly competitive. It won’t be just you who is putting up her small business. Every terminally unemployable person will do that. So you need to pick markets where there are high entry barriers. Or find very strong differentiators.

The 3rd Option is becoming asset owners before the transition happens.  So by that way, you can live off of the income produced from those assets. It can be real estate, the stock market, you know investing in high dividend yielding companies which you think will survive the transition.

Having said that, investing in companies that own the AI wouldn’t be such a bad investment strategy I think. At least that’s what I will do.

The other solution is governments implementing a universal basic income Where everybody gets paid a certain amount of unemployment benefits. These benefits will be enough to cover all basic needs including healthcare and education. Now, I don’t think this will happen all around the world though.

Because there will most likely be 1 mega power country, most likely under the influence of 1 or 2 mega power corporations which control the AI. And that country will control the new economy and society around the world. Their citizens will enjoy enormous benefits, lead a very luxury life and the rest of the world will be at their mercy to distribute wealth.

This will potentially lead to all our wars against that country for not sharing the wealth and as a result the conditions that made homo sapiens thrive will reverse. The evolutionary progress for us will reverse. Progress, in general, will not reverse though. With or without homo sapiens, progress will continue.

Ok, I am now in the territory of speculation. But let me also say this, I believe that mega corporation will be Google as it owns and develops DeepMind. And the mega power country will be the United States. I also think in about 20 years, most allies of U.S. will want to become the next states of United States. Maybe a similar model to what the UK did with Commonwealth in Mid 20th century.

Ok, I am definitely speculation mode now.

But hey there is good news. It’s not all bad. The good news is that, right now, and probably for the next 10 years, you are living in the golden age of civilization. This is the best it’s ever been and most likely ever will be – at least for most of us.

 

Thank you for your time.