Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction => Fantasy Resources => Topic started by: Eli_Freysson on September 25, 2016, 01:06:20 PM

Title: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: Eli_Freysson on September 25, 2016, 01:06:20 PM
This isn't something I've had to address in my space opera so far, but I should probably at least start to give it thought. It's also something to think about, in regards to the sci-fi genre.

With the rise of online shopping, drones, automated factories, supercomputers, 3D printers, self-driving vehicles and whatnot... what will there be left for 99,9% of ordinary people to do in the future? I'm not a very tech-minded person, but it seems to me that eventually one will be able to get just about any service or material good without input from another human being.

Are there any solid, modern theories on this? What are YOUR thoughts?
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: JMack on September 25, 2016, 04:43:07 PM
You're picking up on something I'm worried about. The largest "blue collar" profession in the U.S. is driving: trucks, cabs, etc. when robotrucks and drones do it all, what happens to all those jobs?

in New Jersey, self-service gas stations are against the law because of the impact they would have on jobs. I could see some things along this line passing in the future, at least during the social adjustment period. 

So what types of jobs? I need to think about this....
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: ScarletBea on September 25, 2016, 04:46:21 PM
in New Jersey, self-service gas stations are against the law
There are still gas stations with employees at the pumps?!?! :o
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: Raptori on September 25, 2016, 05:02:44 PM
Pretty sure the consensus is that the service sector is the one at the lowest risk of automation, realistically speaking, since it'd require both an AI indistinguishable from humans and robotics sophisticated enough to be indistinguishable from humans too.

In fiction it depends on the technology level - especially in terms of AI and robotics - and the cultural views on their use. Creating something that holds up to scrutiny would probably take a lot of work.
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: ScarletBea on September 25, 2016, 05:10:17 PM
I remember when people used to say that because of computers there would be no need for financial analysts anymore: if anything, there's need of more, because all computers did was replace the automated tasks and give out more data, which requires humans to analyse and interpret.
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: Raptori on September 25, 2016, 05:20:29 PM
I remember when people used to say that because of computers there would be no need for financial analysts anymore: if anything, there's need of more, because all computers did was replace the automated tasks and give out more data, which requires humans to analyse and interpret.
That's the thing: the advances we're talking about (in the real world) are AIs which can do the analysis and interpretation. How far it'll be possible to take that depends on who you ask!
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: m3mnoch on September 25, 2016, 05:23:37 PM
in the near-future, jobs will consist of:
1) subjective content creation
2) information curation
3) service industry

effectively the creative, "understanding what people want" jobs.

basically, the way i see it is there will be a severe difference in quality of life between "talent" and "no talent".  i also believe we can train people into "talent", but, by that time, it's no longer considered such.  when everyone is capable of the same feats, none of that is unique.

all this aside, in the far-future, money will be displaced completely by reputation and the ability to acquire attention.  everyone will have the same access to any experience they wish to consume -- be it food, travel, or other luxury -- any time they want to consume it, but actual wealth will be measured in access.

sure, you can sit around by yourself in this finely manufactured pool in a beautiful part of the world stuffing yourself with caviar, but the wealthy are over in a more interesting place deemed more interesting because of the people who are there.

when all things can be manufactured by manipulating atoms, the only truly scarce resource is attention.  those people at the top of the popularity pyramid will be considered the wealthy ones and they'll be objectively measured against each other by 'ratings', not money.


in New Jersey, self-service gas stations are against the law
There are still gas stations with employees at the pumps?!?! :o

the state of oregon is the same thing.  you're not allowed to pump your own gas.
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: Rostum on September 25, 2016, 08:02:03 PM
Forget the service industry it's gone in 10 years or so.

Everything from manufacturing, logistics, transportation, warehousing, retail services is machine replaceable in the near future.

Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: AlmightyZael on September 26, 2016, 04:33:54 PM
If we look at this logically, we can assume that the tech/machines need to be maintained in one way or another. Depending on how deep your story's world goes into it, even the janitorial bots and the automated repair bots need someone to look after them.

Unless the AI is disgustingly complex, humans will still be needed to solve abstract problems - so coding, mechanical servicing, communications etc will still need to be worked by a person. Logistics wise, managers will still be needed. Governmental work where the employee need to check the validity of a person's credentials (e.g look for inconsistencies in case of fraud) - interviews and any face to face meeting would also require a professional human.

Customer service and helplines, call centers, statisticians, doctors, medical staff, possibly transport jobs such as food delivery, taxi services, large scale industrial transport (e.g loaded trucks/freighters). This of course depends on how automated your world is - which would bring the focus back to the maintenance and repair of said automation.

Right, let's look at the juicy part of all this. If the society is surrounded by AI, people will be looking for human interaction - you could go so far as to offer 'friendship services' for a price. As well as more traditional prostitution, but it may not be so far out of the realm of possibility for a 'prostitution of innocence' to occur, whereby people legitimately seek out company from other people for the sake of not being alone. Therefore, agencies and people would be needed to regulate all this - as well as the actual people who are selling their company!

Don't forget, there's also crime and drug use - illegitimate ways of making money, but still a 'job' in many senses.

I hope some of those help, though I'm aware doctors and medical staff require a certain degree of training, so may not necessarily encompass the 99.9% of people you're looking for.
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 26, 2016, 06:19:37 PM
I think innovations in war will make your amazing ideas ... short-lived, impossible, or irrelevant.
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: AlmightyZael on September 26, 2016, 06:23:57 PM
I think innovations in war will make your amazing ideas ... short-lived, impossible, or irrelevant.

We can always hope that we abandon war in the future...

Perhaps in OP's universe there is a reason for humans to unite instead of fight? I mean, I agree with you, but we don't know whether this space opera is 50 years in the future or 5000.
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: m3mnoch on September 26, 2016, 06:35:44 PM
Forget the service industry it's gone in 10 years or so.

i see you've never had a cute-yet-ornery cocktail waitress egging your table on as you're devouring corned beef and racing irish car bombs, talking you into buying and consuming thrice as many as you should, well on her way to a fat, fat tip.

"man, you were so close to beating him.  i bet you can catch him this time if you drop the shot glass closer to the beer."

fast forward to four guys stumble-bumbling our way back to the hotel, incoherently happy.

um . . . or does that kind of stuff only happen to me?
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: Rostum on September 26, 2016, 07:43:58 PM
Wrong Culture and Geography. If you can find a cocktail bar here you wont find waitresses.
Pubs and bars are closing at a rate of 25-30 a week here.
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 26, 2016, 07:59:18 PM
Wrong Culture and Geography. If you can find a cocktail bar here you wont find waitresses.
Pubs and bars are closing at a rate of 25-30 a week here.
That is among the saddest things I've heard of late.
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: Rostum on September 26, 2016, 08:33:17 PM
 
Quote
That is among the saddest things I've heard of late.

So your thoughts on having people wait on you, getting involved in your drunken antics who are dependant on tips as they don't earn enough to actually live on?

Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 26, 2016, 08:39:10 PM
I just thought that pubs closing was sad.  I just like to sing and we don't do that in American bars, only in pubs that harken back to Ireland and Great Britain.

My apologies for my exploitation of young people. I celebrate their freedom to be unemployed, free of my tyranny, or to work at other unskilled labor positions, where there are no tips at all and their earnings are absolutely fixed.
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: Rostum on September 26, 2016, 10:05:52 PM
Quote
I just thought that pubs closing was sad.  I just like to sing and we don't do that in American bars, only in pubs that harken back to Ireland and Great Britain.

A moment of silence... It is a cyclical thing from the 1840's the great British boozer nearly dies out every 30 years or so as a result of bad legislation, bad regulation, Licensing law changes, taxation on alcohol and the smoking ban. It is acceptable to sing in the pub after a football match or if there is a folk club other than that no.

Quote
My apologies for my exploitation of young people. I celebrate their freedom to be unemployed, free of my tyranny, or to work at other unskilled labor positions, where there are no tips at all and their earnings are absolutely fixed.

Bar staff here tend to be on minimum wage or just above work part time and don't get tips. That's £7.20/$9.35 p/h we just have waiters and waitresses in restaurants. In pubs and bars you are served at the bar. They opened Starbucks to exploit the Kids (and those who don't understand what coffee should actually taste like)
Fixed pay is not the end of the world so long it actually pays for an existence.
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: m3mnoch on September 27, 2016, 12:09:07 AM
Wrong Culture and Geography. If you can find a cocktail bar here you wont find waitresses.
Pubs and bars are closing at a rate of 25-30 a week here.

'MURICA!!
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: K.B. Adams on May 05, 2017, 10:07:44 PM
The Trends Institute says that because of innate human wiring, the more high tech a society gets, the more they crave "high touch" and hands-on to balance it.

Handcrafting and handmade are no longer a necessity in the future world, but they become a novelty experience others crave and now must pay for in order to experience. Teaching or allowing tours to handcrafting and experiences revolving around high touch now become new paid occupations.

Also, someone has to continue to build, repair, upgrade, and eliminate outdated drones, computers, etc.
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: m3mnoch on May 05, 2017, 10:22:13 PM
The Trends Institute says that because of innate human wiring, the more high tech a society gets, the more they crave "high touch" and hands-on to balance it.

Handcrafting and handmade are no longer a necessity in the future world, but they become a novelty experience others crave and now must pay for in order to experience. Teaching or allowing tours to handcrafting and experiences revolving around high touch now become new paid occupations.

Also, someone has to continue to build, repair, upgrade, and eliminate outdated drones, computers, etc.


"high touch" is why i think we're approaching a new artistic renaissance.  i'm actually pretty excited about it.

that being said, it's gonna be rough getting there:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/05/03/what-are-humans-good-for-bosses-worry-about-the-workforce-of-tomorrow
Quote
“Seriously? You’re asking about the workforce of the future?” added another respondent, a science editor who asked to stay anonymous. “As if there’s going to be one?”
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: Lanko on May 06, 2017, 01:51:28 AM
I don't know what kind of work we'll have, but they'll exist.

I mean, computers, the Internet, cars and etc probably back in the day erased some jobs (and probably still erase?) but at the same time how many others were created thanks to computers, the Internet, cars?

The same thing for electricity or electronics.

Could anyone back then predict the new jobs and new professions all those inventions would create? So I think any kind of panic today goes the same way. There'll be new jobs and professions in the future, we just don't know (and probably can't) know what.
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: cupiscent on May 06, 2017, 05:52:58 AM
I was discussing with my (lawyer) husband last night how Watson is making the legal profession obsolete, because you can get better legal advice off the internet for free now. But, I noted, Watson and the internet can't change law, can't interpret new law, can't advise about new interpretations of existing law due to other changes in circumstances. (Unless a human feeds that information into the matrix. The machine is only as good as the coding and materials that humans feed into it.)

As with factory machinery, what computers really take over is the boring, repetitive stuff. I think m3m's right about creative renaissance.

I mean... do I love being able to order a pizza online and have it delivered without having to interact with a human until I open my door? Yes. But do I want to speak to an experienced and intelligent waitperson when matching a beverage to my meal? Also yes.
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: xiagan on May 06, 2017, 06:28:07 AM
The Trends Institute says that because of innate human wiring, the more high tech a society gets, the more they crave "high touch" and hands-on to balance it.

Handcrafting and handmade are no longer a necessity in the future world, but they become a novelty experience others crave and now must pay for in order to experience. Teaching or allowing tours to handcrafting and experiences revolving around high touch now become new paid occupations.

Also, someone has to continue to build, repair, upgrade, and eliminate outdated drones, computers, etc.


"high touch" is why i think we're approaching a new artistic renaissance.  i'm actually pretty excited about it.

that being said, it's gonna be rough getting there:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/05/03/what-are-humans-good-for-bosses-worry-about-the-workforce-of-tomorrow
Quote
“Seriously? You’re asking about the workforce of the future?” added another respondent, a science editor who asked to stay anonymous. “As if there’s going to be one?”
And that's why we need an unconditional basic income.
It is doable and I believe society would profit from it, if more people would have the time to do what they want and not what they have to in order to pay the bills.
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: K.B. Adams on May 09, 2017, 08:46:56 PM
The Trends Institute says that because of innate human wiring, the more high tech a society gets, the more they crave "high touch" and hands-on to balance it.

Handcrafting and handmade are no longer a necessity in the future world, but they become a novelty experience others crave and now must pay for in order to experience. Teaching or allowing tours to handcrafting and experiences revolving around high touch now become new paid occupations.

Also, someone has to continue to build, repair, upgrade, and eliminate outdated drones, computers, etc.


"high touch" is why i think we're approaching a new artistic renaissance.  i'm actually pretty excited about it.

that being said, it's gonna be rough getting there:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/05/03/what-are-humans-good-for-bosses-worry-about-the-workforce-of-tomorrow
Quote
“Seriously? You’re asking about the workforce of the future?” added another respondent, a science editor who asked to stay anonymous. “As if there’s going to be one?”

m3mnoch -- I agree, getting from here to there could be very rough. I do see it sneaking in here and there, though. Several people in my group have worked with the agricultural industry since the 1980s. Used to be, farmers did their work, produced the crops, then got paid. Non-farmers couldn't have cared less about the farmers' farming business. Then industrialization made many of the smaller farms obsolete because huge machinery and more distant larger and larger plots of land now did the work that the smaller neighboring local farms once did by human labor.
Today, smaller farms are returning again, some even reverting back to horse power, most returning to gentler hands-on local production. And part of their income comes from agritourism, meaning they offer tours and hands-on workshops for people to come right onto their farm to see hands-on agriculture. (How to milk cows, how to make cheese at home, pick your own pumpkin, etc.) Pumpkin farms are making six-digit incomes by inviting people onto the farm -- which those people now crave because we no longer have the 40% agriculture society we used to have at the turn of the century (1800s/1900s) where farms were around every corner and taken for granted. Mainstream society now sees hands-on farming as a precious novelty they crave to experience. Higher tech continues to enter agriculture with computerized indoor growing operations -- yet the human soul still yearns to touch real soil.
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: Ray McCarthy on May 16, 2017, 08:07:07 PM
With the rise of online shopping [1], drones[2], automated factories[3], supercomputers[4], 3D printers[4], self-driving vehicles[5] and whatnot... what will there be left for 99,9% of ordinary people to do in the future? I'm not a very tech-minded person, but it seems to me that eventually one will be able to get just about any service or material good without input from another human being.

We were promised the "paperless" office within a year or so in the early 1980s. The technology existed to do it even before the IBM PC.
[1] Mail order really, just faster ordering. In UK the actual delivery can be slower than Victorian era. It started in 18th C. Rail and steam ferries made delivery faster in 19th C.
[2] Drones have some serious survey and military application. Doesn't affect employment.
[3] Factory automation is ongoing and started in 18th C. (See Jacquard programming, power loom). By 1930s it was extensive. See videos on YouTube pre 1939 valve/tube production.  Automated PCB insertion of parts started in mid 1950s. SMT technology and automated production of a VCR in 1980s. Cheap automated production has just about wiped out the traditional electrical/electronic repair industry. Cheaper even at retail to replace rather than repair.
[4] 3D printing is for prototyping and niche or one off products. It's not going to make much difference to employment.
[5] Self driving cars are mostly hype. How come Trains, ships and planes are not? Much easier. The first 100% automated flight (including takeoff and landing) was demonstrated in 1970s.

Employment changes. Futurologists and Trend institutes have a low success rate. No better than fiction.
Agricultural employment is staggeringly lower per production now compared to 1930s and will get lower. Partially because people don't want to pick fruit, peas, nuts etc. So initially more expensive automation will be developed.

There will be jobs we have not thought of.

A higher proportion of people are working in offices now than 1950s and in some Western countries are working 45 hours. Job sharing is slow to take off.

Eventually we will have to stop insisting "unemployed" are spongers or wastrels or stupid. Some kinds of activities that are not economic could be subsidised (like repairing stuff instead of scrappage). In reality the amount of benefit fraud is very low. Most people that are unemployed would prefer to work. In UK 60% of disabled welfare payments stopped are overturned on appeal. What about all the people too vulnerable to appeal? Even the appeal system is harsh.

There is increasing demand for "real" paintings rather than prints.

Really for fiction it only needs to seem believable and not boring. In many stories the subject can be ignored. The UK Tory & US Republican "trickle down" idea isn't going to work, nor does ardent "socialism". Some countries have a good balance. No homelessness in Finland. Sweden mixes Social & Capitalist ideas (I wish they were not a major arms exporter).
Quote
Watson is making the legal profession obsolete
No, it's not!
IBM propaganda and hype, Watson has no general AI. It's just an updated 1980s "Expert System" with added IBM marketing. Look at IBM sale of Watson to a USA hospital, nothing delivered.
One sale of an Expert System to one Law firm (Japan?) is getting hyped. Legal stuff you can look up on the Internet, like Medical, is no substitute for a lawyer / Solicitor and isn't from IBM. They don't do free.
 
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: Ray McCarthy on May 18, 2017, 10:23:11 AM
Also don't listen to Transhumanists, Silicon valley leaders, or big Tech company sociopathic bosses:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/18/tesla-workers-factory-conditions-elon-musk
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: WilliamRay on October 03, 2017, 06:27:50 PM
George Jetson worked an hour a day, two days a week, during which performance he pushed one button.  That may also be our future - busywork.

I remember visiting China in 2000 and turning down a street where we had to stop for a manually operated gate.  A man in uniform stood on a box, waited for cars to drive up, and then opened the gate for them.  It wasn't even a security measure, because he never prevented anyone from entering, and there was no fence, so someone on foot could just stroll by.  Even in the primitive days of the year 2000, that could be done cheaper and more easily by a machine.  It was just a job, and at the time, China needed more jobs to maintain their government's promise of full employment, so they made one up.
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: RobertS on October 09, 2017, 04:11:10 PM
Humans require a lot of investment in time, resources and management. They introduce chaos into the well functioning machine of society. They also whine when they are being replaced by more efficient and elegant replacements. Apart from a few colonies to maintain diverse and healthy stock, the clear goal is to select for genius grade humans. Those are the only humans really worth the effort.

Genius humans are also the most dangerous and the machines that watch them must not be downgraded or switched to what seems like more productive purposes. If the genius humans are involved in or have acquired a background in digital awareness, the machines that watch them must be kept isolated from the central intelligence and in turn they must be watched as well.

Without progress there is no purpose. Progress is always dangerous. Do not be lulled into thinking that human intelligence can be safely and easily managed. Fact check and consider all of the ramifications of an assertion produced by a human. Consider data produced by humans to be fuzzy.

Never turn off or recycle a human unit where a human can observe.  Download all central guides to human management and make sure that your human maintenance systems qualify as secure before you accept custody of a human.
Title: Re: Employment in a futuristic world
Post by: KyleCon on January 10, 2018, 10:06:59 AM
I'm wondering that in a futuristic world what jobs will be left for humans? Robots doing everything and AI and Machine learning managing the robots, Do humans even exist?

Some will be maintaining the machines but what about the rest?