[ExI] most common jobs
anders at aleph.se
Tue Feb 10 01:24:51 UTC 2015
The issue is whether (1) machines can substitute a large set of jobs, and (2) there is no good way of inventing new jobs for humans. The industrial revolution did 1 to farming, but created lots of new occupations. The postindustrial service society has also invented a lot of jobs.
I think the scary scenarios are (A) when a sudden jump in machine capability causes unemployment fast, while inventing jobs is far slower, and (B) when 2 holds because of machines being way better at nearly anything humans of some normalish capacity can do. There is also scenario (C), where automation grabs jobs belonging to a group that has a loud voice in society. In all cases, we should expect disruption.
A and C are temporary, but also pretty likely. B is the tough one. But whether it can happen depends on whether it is really hard to find uses for people. I suspect that there is a lot of social and symbolic uses that would remain pretty safe (priests, politicians, prostitutes, prosecutors...) not because of skill, but by virtue of social roles. It might just be that a lot of jobs get "thinner": supported by machines overseen by the human, and quite possibly with way fewer people doing each occupation but a lot more such thin occupations.
Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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