I ran across a rather interesting article this past week about a comment Warren Buffett made when asked about the impact Artificial Intelligence (AI) would have on jobs and the economy:
"I would certainly think [AI] would result in significantly less employment in certain areas," he said. "It would be a good thing that would require enormous transformation in how people relate to each other, what they expect of government, all kinds of things."
There is a lot of politics when it comes to jobs, job creation, job retention. The concept of something, anything, coming into our world and changing our job culture frightens most people. But it shouldn't. Our jobs shouldn't define who we are, rather we should be able to choose a life of work/activities that fulfill us. Star Trek is one of my favorite tv shows of all time and in the Star Trek future there is not need for money/currency and the concept of a job as something that is required to provide life's necessities is a thing of the past.
So this got me thinking...in the Star Trek universe how did they evolve into that future? Did they just all wake up one day and not need money any more? Did they go from having to work 40-hour work weeks one week to getting to pursue anything they desired the next? No. It had to evolve. People, economies and societies don't simply change overnight. So does AI have the potential to change everything? Yes it does, but we have that same potential. The real promise of AI is that it enables us to spend our time in more meaningful ways so that we can create the future we want. But between now and then it is going to disrupt things, so hang on...