What Jobs Will be Left for Humans in the Future After Machines Take Over?


If machines replace humans at work, how will we still make money? Or maybe we will not need money…

I’ve recently seen this video about how machines are easily taking over humans’ jobs, and robotics and automatization are becoming the replacement for workers. They were comparing humans with horses, that in the past there was a huge demand for horses in transportation and other fields, but after the invention of the car, horses were less and less needed, fast-forward to the present, horses are only used for hobbies.

Nowadays technology has become so advanced that it’s replacing the jobs of humans.

Not in a very distant future there will be no longer a need for human doctors, as robots have the capacity of analyzing a way bigger amount of medical cases than a human, and by processing this large amount of data to find patterns in symptoms. They will become better than humans, with a bigger capacity to process information. Robotic hands don’t tremble. So robotic surgeons don’t need sleep, don’t get tired, and don’t grow old.

Self-driving cars are easily replacing drivers. These have the capacity to compute shortest pathway possible by taking in real-time traffic information, avoiding road blockages, not fall asleep on the wheel, they don’t drink and drive, they don’t text on the phone while driving.

When I hear all this, honestly I feel overwhelmed and think, what is there left for humans? What jobs can we do?

I was asking a friend this and he said…well Art, Art is left for us humans.

But if you look at the latest technological progress you can see that there are robots that can paint, as good as humans, and also there is a robot mentioned in the video, Emily Howel, which can compose and play music.

Then what is there left for humans?

I think it’s emotion. When I look at robotics I don’t see them mimicking or transmitting emotions. Ok, if you are a cynical you can say emotion could be generated by applying electrical impulses to the brain (at the end what else is emotion but if not electrical charges between the neurons). Bodily sensations trigger impulses to the insula in the limbic system, but recalling a book I read on happiness, called Satisfaction by Gregory Berns, a doctor studying what makes us humans happy, this concluded that surprise, and unexpected things is what gets our brain going, new experiences make up that hormonal cocktail that brings with it the „feel-good” sensation.

The ability to visualize, imagine and transmit emotions is what will be our unique human feature. From a scientific point of view it’s the mirror neurons that help us communicate this, but beyond that there is something more, something that connects us humans.

So don’t be scared, in the future machines will replace the boring, dull mechanical jobs. They will easily take over even parts of the beautiful-creationist activities, but emotion is what there is left.

If we keep an optimistic and constructionist view on the future (some of us might not even get to this future yet, so we worry for nothing) we can use all this innovation to our advantage. It is a means, a tool that will make our lives even more meaningful.

I’m not trying to reproduce Utopia here (in Utopia all people were allowed to have food and whatever they needed for free, because there was plenty for everybody), although this scenario actually isn’t so far-fetched if you think about the fact that machines have the capacity to produce for everybody at infinitesimal costs, which might in a perfectly implemented system have 0 costs.

Is this utopic enough for you? Why 0 costs? You might say, yes but machines need energy and that costs money. I know it’s a bold idea, and it’s against everything we have learned, and everything we have been educated to think. But what if there would be no need for money?

No need for money

Every time my boss screams around in the office or threatens he’s going to close the company down, I get this fear, because without a job I will not have any money, and without money I don’t have anything.

But if you think about it this is it pretty stupid. The earth doesn’t ask you for money when you put in seeds that grow into plans you’re eating.

Energy, you can use solar, wind or hydro energy, the sun will continue to shine, without asking for money, the wind will continue to blow without asking for money, the water will continue to follow its course without saying: that will be 10$ please.

So that’s why in a very well implemented system, everything will be produced in plentifulness and we will not need any money, there will be enough for everyone.

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