The Information Age will usher in more jobs than humanity has ever seen before.


The Information Age will usher in more jobs than humanity has ever seen before. We just don’t know what they will be yet. Like the farmer in the1800's could not imagine the factory he'd end up working in, or in the 1900's where one couldn't imagine how the auto and aviation industry would make the world a smaller place. Even though the pace might be different jobs will arise, how do we inform / educate the majority of the people to keep society balanced? Does capitalism need to be revisited?

Remi Caron
34 months ago

6 answers


I would say absolutely yes. Leaving aside discussion of the necessary evolution of education and work, I'd argue our economic system itself needs serious revision. While deep poverty is decreasing in the developing world, structural inequality within and across countries is becoming fiercely embedded. And the costs for that spill across the world socially and politically (see populism, droughts, refugee crises).
We need a new contract. People have thrown out a UBI, a robot tax, an EITC, but we may also want to consider changing pre-tax distribution and empower profit-sharing. Finally, I've heard much less about global economic justice and sanity, and this issue can't be ignored in the age of AI.

Daniel Schiff
34 months ago

No doubt that the type of jobs that will be available in future will change. An easy access to information will have an impact that will however not be dustributed evenly throughout the society. The most capable individuals will derive disproportionally larger benefit from using the available information, and will become the future "elite". Majority, such as the current avid user of social-media sites and similar will need to look for "gainful employment" elsewhere.
As the information technology develops further, many of office / administrative jobs will be done by computers, and starting in the near future, by efficient robots. The current army of office workers will need to look elsewhere for jobs. I anticipate that many will spent more time in getting educated in a broad, general, non-vocational direction. Consequently, a larger number of teachers / educators will be needed.
Robots are likely to take over many other jobs that are currently being performed by humans - domestic services, serving as shop assistants, as drivers, in food preparation, etc., etc.
We can envisage that there will be job opportunities in manufacturing robots but even this task is likely to be done also by robots themselves.
Generating enough food for growing population will no doubt require much manpower although even here, ever-improving technology and the use of robots may much reduce the need for manual human workers.
Quantifying this sketchy picture suggests that there may be in future surplus of people with time on their hand. Future efficient societies may well be capable to support financially such "surplus" but it will need to occupy its non-working population somehow. So it may well be that the most numerous job opportunities might be in the entertainment industry...

Karel Petrak
34 months ago

All people need to be taught problem solving skills as early as high school. Individuals who are currently employed in trade-based positions, those who cannot afford a college education or those who are more interested in a technical type of position will need to know how to develop, read, and follow complex manuals and handbooks. They will subsequently need to also have strong reading and writing skills in order to assume more responsibilities and advance through the ranks. Due to exponential changes in knowledge and job requirements associated technological change, generations to come (starting with Millenials) need to have broad skill sets (such as teamwork, creative problem solving, product marketing, etc.) that are easily transferrable to a new occupation and/or field. Having such skills will enable individuals to quickly retrain for a new position as existing positions become obsolete due to technological advancements. This article offers some additional insights on this topic:

Nancy Enders, MS
34 months ago

Different experts discuss the social impact of further automation. One idea is “Universal Basic Income”, which every citizen would receive from the state. Such a negative tax could start from “enough to survive” to “satisfy all average needs.” In opposite to a unemployment insurance, this UBI would go to all people, independent of the job-status or private fortune. Supporters like Elon Musk argue that robots and AI will push humans out of their regular jobs, so an UBI will be necessary. Such system could be financed by a “robot tax”, as Bill Gates proposed.

A agreed by most, even if robots would take the official jobs, this does not mean that the world would run out of tasks. Such works could be for public welfare and other non-profit organization. Tasks where the purpose is traditionally higher than the salary and require a certain altruistic motivation.

Empathy requires emotional intelligence, which at the end is based on traditionally intelligence. This as besides being a “good person”, the individual requires understanding about the consequences of general and personal behavior. As long-term effects may not be visible on the short-term, scientific understanding is required. Education is key, even if the society would be ensured by UBI.

Fostering STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is the new buzzword to discuss raising competitiveness in science and technology. The idea is to present these topics more vividly at school to motivate more pupils to choose related topics later at university. The Talking Heads became famous for progressive pop music, which they combined with artistic videos. For this, it is no surprise that their former front-man David Byrne argued that “in order to really succeed in whatever… math and the sciences and engineering and things like that, you have to be able to think outside the box, and do creative problem solving… the creative thinking is in the arts.”[1] Arts has be included into the concept (now STEAM) and the schools’ timetables. With a further step, educators underline the importance of reading.[2] STREAM not only transports knowledge, it inspires, fosters a creative mind and sparks empathy. This not only for work, but all aspects of life. UBI can ensure the resources to comfortable survive a the next wave of robot-automation, but STREAM teaches the individuals to live.

[1] StarTalk Radio (2017): “The Science of Creativity, with David Byrne”
[2] Henz, Patrick (2017): “Access Granted Vol.2 – Tomorrow’s Business Ethics”

Patrick Henz
28 months ago

Given what I read about Mr. Elon Musk’s huge ego-trip motivation and a lack of sound rationale for his space project, I do not put much value on his views on the future of human society.

Karel Petrak
28 months ago

Hello Remi,

  • We do not read the news. We are told the news.
  • We do not listen. We just hear.
  • We do not reflect. We react.
  • We do not know, how to keep notes. We just reproduce.
  • We are not educated to learn. We are educated to operate.
  • We do not question. We just accept.

All those facts are based in misinformation. Therefore, information management & Cultural Intelligence is the next big industry to come.

Christos Zervas
33 months ago
It is always risky to generalize one’s personal experience and conclude that everyone else is like that. Some of us do read, do listen, reflect, learn, and ask many questions. - Karel 28 months ago

Have some input?