When the Machines Take Over
Last week, we looked inward with my piece entitled “Pull up Your Pants, Your Ego is Showing”. Today, though, we are going to swing the pendulum in the complete opposite direction and explore the effects of technology on our money, our personal development, and our relationships.
Bottom line up front: I believe that the technology growth trajectory has outpaced or is beginning to outpace a human’s ability to react to the changes, and has already outpaced society’s ability to cope with the changes. It’s imperative that we adjust our own habits and double down on a growth mindset when it comes to our personal development, how we plan to provide value to the world through our exchange of time for money and sharing our time and talents with others.
To have an accurate discussion on this topic, I must first define Moore’s Law. Moore’s Law was originally the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every 18 months to two years. Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel was the first person to note the observation in a 1965 paper he authored. Since that time, Moore’s Law has become the basis for all exponential technological growth.
Although technology allows humans to do a lot of things faster and better, humans don’t generally manage change well. I believe it is fundamentally impossible for our human collective ability to keep up with technology’s rate of change. Here’s a pictorial (notional example):
The blue line of the graph is of the original Moore’s Law related to the number of transistors on integrated circuit chips. I’ve overlaid a simple notional black line that represents human/society’s inflexibility to adjust to change. If this continues, the gap will significantly widen after the two lines intersect, causing major societal stressors. And based on some experts could be the end of human life as we know it.
Here are some areas across our three domains that have or are on the verge of having a significant impact on our society:
- Taxes and Cryptocurrency
- Universal Basic Income
- Car ownership vs. Subscription-based self-driving cars
- Governments vs. Uber
- A standard government-sponsored education, plus college, is no longer sufficient; a lifetime of continuous learning has become a necessity
- Career chasm: Technology and artistic careers and pursuits may only survive, as many roles in between are automated
Now that we’ve been made aware of this issue it is imperative that we educate ourselves on where technology is headed. We need to develop a long term action plan for how we might deal with the unprecedented rate of change.
**Actions: Read or listen to the following pieces of content and start brainstorming how you might change your personal habits, career goals, etc. (I’ve ordered them from shortest to longest time investment):
“Humans Need Not Apply” by CPG Grey. CPG Grey’s content is amazing. Enjoy!
“The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence” by Tim Urban. Tim’s blog is incredible!
Lastly, check out Thomas L. Friedman’s book, “Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations”.**