Reading the book, “Rise of the Robots”, by Martin Ford can give a whole new perspective of what the future will bring forth. Written with lots of research and informational resources, in my opinion the author hatefully tells the reader that the creation of automation will be the last nail in the coffin of this society. What this means, is the end of jobs and potentially the end of something even bigger: our need for money.
With robots and automation beginning to lower our employment rates, doubling each new year, many people will eventually be driven into poverty until all the jobs run out. The question then rises, how will people contribute to society without jobs? Corporations and the powers at hand can’t leave society for dead seeing as they thrive on our consumerism. Humans are powerful creations who crave self-worth and most people seek satisfaction through helping out or contributing to society. This will be the key to progress.
Ford notes that, people in general like the feeling of being worthy and responsible, they enjoy earning some sort of payment or reward for their hard work. As a whole, we need to find ways to benefit everyone in the society, without an economy. With automation coming into the world quicker than we can change the society, we will all feel a bit unworthy, unless we progress with these rapid changes.
Ford mentions a few outcomes that can come with these rapid changes such as: feeling redundant, rebuking automation, or relying upon excessive amounts of welfare. A quote from Ford, “The result would be massive unemployment, soaring inequality, and ultimately, falling demand for goods and services as consumers increasingly lacked the purchasing power necessary to continue driving economic growth.” This quote may hold truth, but in time society could adapt a strategy to overcome economic downfall.
What could be a strategy to this catastrophic economic downfall? This is where gamification could play a role. The word gamification means the act of encouragement through game play such as achievements, competitions and rewards. Gaming achievements could be a substitute for money. It is one technique that is used widely, through games, jobs and even education. Like mentioned, people like to feel part of something or feel worthy of something. If money starts shedding away, we could adopt the idea of gamification, which is almost the same as gaining money. With that stated, nothing will really change with the monopolized system, we would still have massive amounts of inequality issues. For an example, people gaining more rewards than others or ways to cheat the system.
Ford points out many points, we as people can take. Each one he addresses, has its own unique downfall to it, as well as my own; gamification. There will be many surprising outcomes that await, according to David Autor, a professor of Economics. Autor sounds optimistic about the future, unlike Ford. With Ford worried about automation being the mood killer, Autor thinks the outcome can be more sufficient than we think.
There may be hope yet as David Autor has mentioned in this Tedx Talks video. He mentions that people will never lose jobs. They will have the advancements of technology by their side for more convenience ideologies. We will become more intellectual in that sort of way. With intelligence comes more education to our society as well. With automations taking over the convenient jobs, we will strive to better our educational systems. Autor brings forth the fact of how the past generations were scared of the future as well, just as we are now. Lots of good can come out of an automated future.
In conclusion, comes a question, are we capable of living without some sort of economic system and can we strategically plan for that rapidly changing outcome? If we can come up with a strategical plan to avoid past conceptions we can be better off and more prepared as a society. Ford looks at many approaches through the looking glass. This future we are all so called afraid of, could actually become the finale of this economic system. In return, this could actually be something we are all so familiar with; a system with mass participation and a reward system. Automation could be the end or a new beginning, as David Autor puts it.