When looking at the most pressing issue humanity will face in the next 100 years, I do not believe it will stem from those typically highlighted by the media: a scarcity of water, energy, or other resources.
Through advances in exponentially growing technologies such as artificial intelligence, 3D printing, synthetic biology and nanotechnology, we are dematerializing and demonetizing the cost of energy, food, healthcare, and education to the point where it will be accessible to anyone on (or off) the planet at near-zero cost.
Over the next 20 to 30 years, I believe that our most pressing challenges will be driven by robotics and artificial intelligence. Not in the style of the Terminator, though. Instead, my concern comes from the potential for significant technological unemployment.
McKinsey & Co. predicts that 45% of jobs today will be automated out of existence in only 20 years. While we’ve seen this magnitude of change in the past – America went from a land of 84% farmers in 1810 to under 2% today – what worries me is actually the speed of the coming change.
My goal through my work at XPRIZE and Singularity University is to help build a “bridge to abundance.” To help bridge the challenges we'll face over the next 10 – 30 years. In the longer term, society will adapt, and humans will partner and merge with technology to reskill, evolve and become even better workers.
I’d love your ideas on how we deal with the coming challenges of technological unemployment. Please tweet them at me @PeterDiamandis.
IMHO, the challenge is not that people will lose their buying power (for food and healthcare). I’m confident that much of the world will eventually adopt Universal Basic Income (UBI) programs while, at the same time, exponential technology will continue to rapidly demonetize our cost of living.
The challenge is a psychological and sociological variant. Humans don’t like having nothing to do. We love challenges, and have a deep need for significance and contribution. For many, a person’s job title provides them with a standing in society and is part of their identity. Lose that identity and people may revolt (some violently) against the technology that took it away from them.
How will we tame such (potential) societal unrest? Who will be to blame? Please send me your thoughts (tweet @PeterDiamandis).
I truly believe that advanced technologies and entrepreneurial innovation will allow us to address this issue. As I teach at Singularity University, the world’s biggest problems are the world’s biggest business opportunities.
Interested in Joining Me? (Two options)
1. A360 Executive Mastermind: This is the sort of conversation I explore at my Executive Mastermind group called Abundance 360. The program is highly selective, for 360 abundance and exponentially minded CEOs (running $10M to $10B companies). If you’d like to be considered, apply here.
Share this with your friends, especially if they are interested in any of the areas outlined above.
2. A360 Digital Mastermind: I’ve also created a Digital/Online community of bold, abundance-minded entrepreneurs called Abundance 360 Digital (A360D).
A360D is my ‘onramp’ for exponential entrepreneurs – those who want to get involved and play at a higher level. Click Here to Learn More.