In a Post from 2014, I explored the path of automation and a possible economic impact between $14 and $30 trillion. Almost four years later, my focus has shifted from economic to societal impact. How far will we take automation? Will automation augment us, freeing us from mundane and redundant tasks, or will it replace us? Is automation limited to those characteristics we typically associate with our left brain – or will it encroach upon our right brain characteristics?
These questions currently have no answer – just speculation. How far the slider in the visual below goes, drives a profound difference in the ultimate implications to society. The obvious area of impact is the future of work – if we do indeed realize decentralized autonomous organizations. Do our right brain characteristics become much more important in this future world, and do they represent a safe haven? I show three very impactful examples in presentations that would have us question whether or not machines can be creative, compassionate, and eventual companions.
In a recent forum, someone said that Robot Taxes would disrupt the automation train (obstacle). But that would assume that an arms race driven by China does not materialize (accelerant). This future scenario (automation of everything) is no different than all the others: its path is impossible to predict, and a series of obstacles and accelerants must be evaluated as we look for possible paths. We need a minimum viable appreciation for the potential paths of each future scenario (and others) depicted on the emerging future visual.