I had the nerve to say on twitter that “CGP Grey may have just made the most important video of our generation” about this next video. I fully admit that’s hyperbolic, but as I was watching the video, each succeeding segment made me feel as if all the safety and security that I know in modern times, is pretty much an illusion. The robots, they’re takin’ over mate. And we’re programming them how to do it.
Luckily, since Grey narrates all his videos, there is a transcript on his site (because I’ve learned it takes me roughly 3x as long as the video’s length to type out the transcript of what it says), so I don’t have to type one out and post it below. You just get the enjoy the video. I will include a list of topics though.
The Shape of Things to Come
I will highlight part of the closing statements:
Right: this might have been a lot to take in, and you might want to reject it — it’s easy to be cynical of the endless, and idiotic, predictions of futures that never are. So that’s why it’s important to emphasize again this stuff isn’t science fiction. The robots are here right now. There is a terrifying amount of working automation in labs and wear houses that is proof of concept.
We have been through economic revolutions before, but the robot revolution is different.
Horses aren’t unemployed now because they got lazy as a species, they’re unemployable. There’s little work a horse can do that do that pays for its housing and hay.
And many bright, perfectly capable humans will find themselves the new horse: unemployable through no fault of their own.
This video isn’t about how automation is bad — rather that automation is inevitable. It’s a tool to produce abundance for little effort. We need to start thinking now about what to do when large sections of the population are unemployable — through no fault of their own. What to do in a future where, for most jobs, humans need not apply.
In the words of a clever friend of mine: “Good morning, unemployed horses 🙂 ”
Of course, I don’t imagine this will be a problem in my lifetime, but it is kinda scary to see the first blushes of things we’ve seen in Sci-Fi movies, becoming reality. I can’t imagine what it must be like for someone who has been alive since before or during World War 2. Looking back at what the world was like then, just 70 years ago, compared to now, it seems so archaic and quaint. Now I feel like I am getting a glimpse into the future, what the world might look like in another 70 years. It’s a bit mind-bending.