Andrew McAfee: Are droids taking our jobs?


Translator: Joseph Geni
Reviewer: Morton Bast As it turns out, when tens of millions
of people are unemployed or underemployed, there’s a fair amount of interest
in what technology might be doing to the labor force. And as I look at the conversation, it strikes me that it’s focused
on exactly the right topic, and at the same time,
it’s missing the point entirely. The topic that it’s focused on, the question is whether or not all these
digital technologies are affecting people’s ability to earn a living, or, to say it a little bit different way, are the droids taking our jobs? And there’s some evidence that they are. The Great Recession ended
when American GDP resumed its kind of slow, steady march upward, and some other economic indicators
also started to rebound, and they got kind of healthy
kind of quickly. Corporate profits are quite high; in fact, if you include bank profits, they’re higher than they’ve ever been. And business investment
in gear — in equipment and hardware and software —
is at an all-time high. So the businesses are getting
out their checkbooks. What they’re not really doing is hiring. So this red line is the employment-to-population ratio, in other words, the percentage
of working-age people in America who have work. And we see that it cratered
during the Great Recession, and it hasn’t started
to bounce back at all. But the story is not
just a recession story. The decade that we’ve
just been through had relatively anemic job growth
all throughout, especially when we compare it
to other decades, and the 2000s are the only time
we have on record where there were fewer people working
at the end of the decade than at the beginning. This is not what you want to see. When you graph the number
of potential employees versus the number of jobs in the country, you see the gap gets bigger
and bigger over time, and then, during the Great Recession,
it opened up in a huge way. I did some quick calculations. I took the last 20 years of GDP growth and the last 20 years
of labor-productivity growth and used those in a fairly
straightforward way to try to project how many jobs
the economy was going to need to keep growing, and this is the line that I came up with. Is that good or bad? This is the government’s projection for the working-age
population going forward. So if these predictions are accurate,
that gap is not going to close. The problem is, I don’t think
these projections are accurate. In particular, I think my projection
is way too optimistic, because when I did it, I was assuming that the future
was kind of going to look like the past, with labor productivity growth, and that’s actually not what I believe. Because when I look around, I think that we ain’t seen nothing yet when it comes to technology’s
impact on the labor force. Just in the past couple years,
we’ve seen digital tools display skills and abilities
that they never, ever had before, and that kind of eat deeply
into what we human beings do for a living. Let me give you a couple examples. Throughout all of history, if you wanted something translated
from one language into another, you had to involve a human being. Now we have multi-language, instantaneous, automatic translation services
available for free via many of our devices,
all the way down to smartphones. And if any of us have used these, we know that they’re not perfect,
but they’re decent. Throughout all of history,
if you wanted something written, a report or an article,
you had to involve a person. Not anymore. This is an article that appeared
in Forbes online a while back, about Apple’s earnings. It was written by an algorithm. And it’s not decent — it’s perfect. A lot of people look at this and they say, “OK, but those are very
specific, narrow tasks, and most knowledge workers
are actually generalists. And what they do is sit on top of a very
large body of expertise and knowledge and they use that to react on the fly
to kind of unpredictable demands, and that’s very, very hard to automate.” One of the most impressive
knowledge workers in recent memory is a guy named Ken Jennings. He won the quiz show
“Jeopardy!” 74 times in a row. Took home three million dollars. That’s Ken on the right,
getting beat three-to-one by Watson, the Jeopardy-playing
supercomputer from IBM. So when we look at what technology can do
to general knowledge workers, I start to think there might not be
something so special about this idea of a generalist, particularly when we start doing things
like hooking Siri up to Watson, and having technologies
that can understand what we’re saying and repeat speech back to us. Now, Siri is far from perfect,
and we can make fun of her flaws, but we should also keep in mind that if technologies like Siri and Watson
improve along a Moore’s law trajectory, which they will, in six years, they’re not going to be two
times better or four times better, they’ll be 16 times better
than they are right now. So I start to think a lot of knowledge
work is going to be affected by this. And digital technologies are not
just impacting knowledge work, they’re starting to flex their muscles
in the physical world as well. I had the chance a little while back
to ride in the Google autonomous car, which is as cool as it sounds. (Laughter) And I will vouch that it handled
the stop-and-go traffic on US 101 very smoothly. There are about three and a half million
people who drive trucks for a living in the United States; I think some of them are going
to be affected by this technology. And right now, humanoid robots
are still incredibly primitive. They can’t do very much. But they’re getting better quite quickly and DARPA, which is the investment arm
of the Defense Department, is trying to accelerate their trajectory. So, in short, yeah, the droids
are coming for our jobs. In the short term, we can
stimulate job growth by encouraging entrepreneurship and by investing in infrastructure, because the robots today
still aren’t very good at fixing bridges. But in the not-too-long-term, I think within the lifetimes
of most of the people in this room, we’re going to transition into an economy
that is very productive, but that just doesn’t need
a lot of human workers. And managing that transition
is going to be the greatest challenge that our society faces. Voltaire summarized why; he said, “Work saves us from three great evils:
boredom, vice and need.” But despite this challenge — personally, I’m still
a huge digital optimist, and I am supremely confident that the digital technologies
that we’re developing now are going to take us
into a Utopian future, not a dystopian future. And to explain why, I want to pose a ridiculously
broad question. I want to ask: what have been the most important
developments in human history? Now, I want to share some
of the answers that I’ve gotten in response to this question. It’s a wonderful question to ask
and start an endless debate about, because some people are going to bring up systems of philosophy
in both the West and the East that have changed how a lot
of people think about the world. And then other people will say, “No, actually, the big stories,
the big developments are the founding
of the world’s major religions, which have changed civilizations
and have changed and influenced how countless people
are living their lives.” And then some other folk will say, “Actually, what changes civilizations, what modifies them and what changes
people’s lives are empires, so the great developments in human history are stories of conquest and of war.” And then some cheery soul
usually always pipes up and says, “Hey, don’t forget about plagues!” (Laughter) There are some optimistic
answers to this question, so some people will bring up
the Age of Exploration and the opening up of the world. Others will talk about intellectual
achievements in disciplines like math that have helped us get
a better handle on the world, and other folk will talk about periods
when there was a deep flourishing of the arts and sciences. So this debate will go on and on. It’s an endless debate and there’s no conclusive,
single answer to it. But if you’re a geek like me, you say, “Well, what do the data say?” And you start to do things like graph things
that we might be interested in — the total worldwide
population, for example, or some measure of social development or the state of advancement of a society. And you start to plot the data,
because, by this approach, the big stories, the big
developments in human history, are the ones that will bend
these curves a lot. So when you do this
and when you plot the data, you pretty quickly come
to some weird conclusions. You conclude, actually, that none of these things
have mattered very much. (Laughter) They haven’t done
a darn thing to the curves. There has been one story,
one development in human history that bent the curve,
bent it just about 90 degrees, and it is a technology story. The steam engine and the other
associated technologies of the Industrial Revolution changed the world and influenced
human history so much, that in the words
of the historian Ian Morris, “… they made mockery out of all
that had come before.” And they did this by infinitely
multiplying the power of our muscles, overcoming the limitations of our muscles. Now, what we’re in the middle of now is overcoming the limitations
of our individual brains and infinitely multiplying
our mental power. How can this not be as big a deal as overcoming the limitations
of our muscles? So at the risk of repeating
myself a little bit, when I look at what’s going on
with digital technology these days, we are not anywhere near
through with this journey. And when I look at what is happening
to our economies and our societies, my single conclusion is that
we ain’t seen nothing yet. The best days are really ahead. Let me give you a couple examples. Economies don’t run on energy. They don’t run on capital,
they don’t run on labor. Economies run on ideas. So the work of innovation,
the work of coming up with new ideas, is some of the most powerful, most
fundamental work that we can do in an economy. And this is kind of how
we used to do innovation. We’d find a bunch of fairly
similar-looking people … (Laughter) We’d take them out of elite institutions, we’d put them into other
elite institutions and we’d wait for the innovation. Now — (Laughter) as a white guy who spent
his whole career at MIT and Harvard, I’ve got no problem with this. (Laughter) But some other people do, and they’ve kind of crashed the party and loosened up
the dress code of innovation. (Laughter) So here are the winners of a Topcoder
programming challenge, and I assure you that nobody cares where these kids grew up,
where they went to school, or what they look like. All anyone cares about is the quality
of the work, the quality of the ideas. And over and over again,
we see this happening in the technology-facilitated world. The work of innovation
is becoming more open, more inclusive, more transparent
and more merit-based, and that’s going to continue no matter
what MIT and Harvard think of it, and I couldn’t be happier
about that development. I hear once in a while,
“OK, I’ll grant you that, but technology is still a tool
for the rich world, and what’s not happening, these digital tools are not
improving the lives of people at the bottom of the pyramid.” And I want to say to that
very clearly: nonsense. The bottom of the pyramid is benefiting
hugely from technology. The economist Robert Jensen
did this wonderful study a while back where he watched, in great detail, what happened to the fishing
villages of Kerala, India, when they got mobile phones
for the very first time. And when you write for the Quarterly
Journal of Economics, you have to use very dry
and very circumspect language. But when I read his paper, I kind of feel Jensen
is trying to scream at us and say, “Look, this was a big deal. Prices stabilized, so people
could plan their economic lives. Waste was not reduced —
it was eliminated. And the lives of both
the buyers and the sellers in these villages measurably improved.” Now, what I don’t think
is that Jensen got extremely lucky and happened to land
in the one set of villages where technology made things better. What happened instead
is he very carefully documented what happens over and over again
when technology comes for the first time to an environment and a community: the lives of people, the welfares
of people, improve dramatically. So as I look around at all the evidence and I think about the room
that we have ahead of us, I become a huge digital optimist and I start to think that this wonderful
statement from the physicist Freeman Dyson is actually not hyperbole. This is an accurate assessment
of what’s going on. Our technologies are great gifts, and we, right now,
have the great good fortune to be living at a time when
digital technology is flourishing, when it is broadening and deepening
and becoming more profound all around the world. So, yeah, the droids are taking our jobs, but focusing on that fact
misses the point entirely. The point is that then we
are freed up to do other things, and what we’re going to do,
I am very confident, what we’re going to do is reduce poverty and drudgery and misery around the world. I’m very confident we’re going to learn
to live more lightly on the planet, and I am extremely confident
that what we’re going to do with our new digital tools is going to be so profound
and so beneficial that it’s going to make a mockery
out of everything that came before. I’m going to leave the last word to a guy who had a front-row seat
for digital progress, our old friend Ken Jennings. I’m with him; I’m going to echo his words: “I, for one, welcome our new
computer overlords.” (Laughter) Thanks very much. (Applause)

100 comments

  • Most time, Using people labor is just cheaper than using robot

  • mastertheillusion

    I can so picture people 'rebooting' into posthuman entities that are literally built to be an optimized superior version of your old body with plenty of onboard memory and sensory specs! Minds built of nanostructures based on carbon, working a billion times more efficiently than our amazing brains do right now!
    This kind of freaks me out lol

  • Agree, but until then, try to convince billions of people why they should follow Fresco's idea?.

  • You have to realize that the entire society system has to change. When robots take over all sorts of jobs in the labor fields then we don't get paid, no welfare and no monthly payment.. Where it will going is that resources will be the new economy.. We invent and robots build and we get live in a life of free will..

    That's the kind of system we have never seen on this world.

  • The U.S. produces 2700 calories of food a day per every human on the planet, unfortunately most of the excess food is destroyed to maintain artificial scarcity. That's why food always keeps going up, even though technology should be driving costs lower, that's good old fashioned capitalism right there.

  • I've actually thought about this a lot and it seems to me that eventually the economic system has to change, or else how is information/products/materials going to be bought if the overwhelming majority of people don't have jobs? My best guess would be that governments will make half ass adjustments way too late instead of foreseeing what is inevitably going to happen.

  • That's propaganda.
    The US has had major crop failures AND many of those crops went right to excessive levels of dog food, cat food, rabbit food, ethanol fuel & other nonsense ON TOP of hungry people and lost crops.
    Technology CAN'T drive costs lower: the SUN and WATER drive costs, not microchips. The scarcity is REAL. You can't techno your way out of it.

  • Maybe one day if you can turn rocks into water or you can make an artificial sun or you can make all crops grow in the dark THEN maybe you can techno your way out of it. Until then the scarcity is real. REAL. Here right now. The food IS NOT PRODUCED as you claim. That's flat out propaganda.

  • fact – like it or not
    w w w .zerohedge . com/news/2012-11-16/very-few-p­eople-understand-trend
    without question we have NOT got enough food, not even enough land to GROW enough food, for all the people

  • Yeah it's "propaganda". How about you go use the internet you have to respond to my comment and do some research before you spew out so called facts that in the end are your opinions.

  • I already have. I've concluded solidly over the past 10 years that crops failed with repeated summer droughts leading to far less available food than what you claim. Even the UN reports lower food stores around the world than they've ever seen. Shit's about to get real & those who aren't storing food are gonna die of starvation.

  • Well, this started off as a good speech, but it''s unfortunate that the speaker had to inject a racial element into it at the end. Looking at the audience, for one thing, it appears that he was speaking almost entirely to whites. Is he embarrassed that not many African Americans seem to be very interested in these things? Plus, what was his insinuation? That technological progress was not advancing very quickly until Asians got involved? This is complete nonsense.

  • Since the speaker had to inject an element of racism into his speech and imply that scientific and technological progress didn't get very far until Asians got involved, allow me to cite a few names: Einstein, Wright, Spinoza, Faraday, Tesla, Edison, Pythagorus, Ford, Whitney, Otto, Maudsley, Sydenham, Roentgen, Rayleigh, Young, Ptolemy, Reed, Laplace, Fresnel, Fourier, Galen, McCormick, Stephenson, Cugnot, Boyle…I could go on… In fact, it's harder to list major discoveries NOT by whites!

  • You're missing the point here. The speaker is not talking about "Science Discovery". It's a talk about Information Technology. So yes, asian have a major impact about it's progress.

  • No, you're missing the point. There are no clear dividing lines between science, discovery and information technology, yet the speaker was clearly implying that these things did not begin their exponential rise until Asians got involved, which is clearly false.

  • I get your point! you forgot Maxwell 🙂
    It's not about nations or who did what!I'm not Asian though and it's not about defending anyone.
    The best companies of "semi-conductors and all electronics stuff" are Asian companies! so when we say I.T we dont look in the past to see how it began. we're in the present and for now They've done alot of remarquable work.
    There are genius Everywhere. most of the ones we know are asians.

  • All of what the Asians have done is built on the work that the European and American pioneers did before them. Anyway, the speaker would have been just as racist if he had held up a picture of a group of Japanese engineers and said "Look how racist these people are! Where are the whites, the blacks, the Indians, etc.?" It's called freedom of association.

  • They took our jobs!

  • I'm very aware: there is no such technology. No one's ever done it & so far the strongest materials ever invented are not strong enough to make buildings that can hold farms up.
    You can grow carrots on shelves but you can't grow rice, corn or wheat that way: they are too heavy, as is the soil & water together.

  • Resource Based Economy For The Win!!!

  • pranksterpinkiepie

    People labor is actually extremely expensive. Think about how much robot/machine you can get out of $50,000 a year/person.

  • . . . powered by hardware that IS on an exponential trajectory.

  • Economies don't run on energy now do they? Hmmm…

  • there is no such thing as a utopia. you only get a dystopia. A utopia is a dream. A Utopia removes all the dreams, goals, aspirations, and struggles of humanity. It removes all conflict and only gives humanity one choice.

  • How are people supposed to pay the rent without jobs?  Basic needs like housing and food will always require a salary unless we completely change how we live as a species.  Which I hope we do.

  • For Solutions!! Watch ZEITGEIST:MOVING FORWARD for free, and check out TheZeitgeistMovement.com !  For a deeper understanding watch (Economic Calculation in a Natural Law/- Resource Based Economy) on YouTube.  Peace

  • University like Harvard and Stanford should digitally open up their libraries–that way we can really start seeing change happen. 

  • The entire tech community is so insulated from the real world with a grotesque vision of a "utopian society" that they are completely failing to recognize the writing all over the damn wall. This is not a good future for people. Essentially, this entire dissertation is a justification for humans being outdated 🙁

  • I think the biggest fear people have is not the lack of jobs but primarily a focus which we plant our meaning in life and a way to visibly demonstrate what we are capable of as an individual. Human beings are listless without meaning in life and competition. The capitalists will proclaim socialism is evil but in truth, they secretly do not wish to lose the current system which recognizes them as the ultimate winners.

    Human beings will adapt. Hopefully, we all will face our futures fearlessly and shape it lest a select few dominate and concentrate value creation. Lets find meaning in society by being part of it and helping each other out. Lets not continue our misanthropic and psychopatic models of defining success. 

  • This is really awesome stuff. However,  the question of how people can afford to live in a world where gainful employment is uncommon is a very important one, and not directly addressed by this presentation. There is, however, a very effective and simple solution to this problem, it's the Universal Basic Income. Every adult gets a living wage from the government every month for their whole lives. If they choose to work, great. If not, that's fine too. This solution simultaneously solves the problems of poverty, scarcity of jobs and (in large part) income inequality. 

  • Boston Badass Hugh Jass

    Because it is the rich who agreed to replace humans with machines they're digging themselves yet even deeper into the moral debt pit.  And they're already in pretty deep by sending working class kids to fight wars that only benefit the corporate elite, lobbying against workers' rights, environmental regulations, not paying their fair share, slavery (the effects of which America still lives with), etc. 

    If there's a revolution because people have no future due to massive unemployment remember the rich's blood is on their own hands largely due to said mechanization of the work force. 

  • I'm confident that those among the higher classes will deem the rest of us unnecessary.

  • jumpstart55million

    The rules that dictated the world of old are going to be useless in the future world to come. Now is the time to start thinking outside of the dam box. And this doesn't just apply to the scientist, innovators, and people in the tech fields. This applies to everyone.

  • This video is a great counter for CGP Grey's video. I agree with Andrew McAfee, not CGP Grey. Automation, long term, will benefit society.

  • Are droids taking our jobs? When droids can start replacing chefs, teachers, doctors, police and firemen, maybe. Until that day happens, droids are pretty limited.

  • Николай Каретников

    Most of the headlines he refers to are interviews with himself, that doesn't alter the fact, though, that he is right. I would love to see updated from 2011 up to 2014 version of the talk

  • One of my entrance exams for college asked me what I thought was the most significant development in human history and I said the combustible engine. It seems this MIT professor would have agreed with me.

  • Great vid, 10/10.

  • Check out Doktor Sleepless for a beautiful vision of the future.

  • godamn, i hate that antivirus program. so intrusive…

  • bow to the new overlords!

  • if there is no jobs there will be no salaries ,  how would people pay for rent , utilities , food and other stuff..
    and the human population will be 9 billion in 20 years ! 
    natural resources are decreasing sharply with time !
    CAN SOME ONE ANSWER ME !

  • The thing that scares me is not the robots it's people. Ordinary people need to be ready. You can ignore a changing world but it will not ignore you.

  • at time 5:11 watson only improves along a software doubles in SIX YEARS curve ….so premise false, this year (2015) NVIDIA is making a $10k USD board to proto type autonomous semi trucks (and excuse me work does NOT save use from being needy).

    BUT since there are not enough programmers with the board (hardware) the software drags down the curve for improvement.

  • First I'm going to lose my job and won't be able to afford the self driving google car. The problem aren't the jobs going away but the money system in which we live in. The poor getting poorer the rich getting richer and technology will accelerate this trend even further in this money based economy.

  • Nobody has talked about this scenario
    1)Droids take jobs
    2)Most people are out of work
    3)Nobody can afford to buy the goods that the droids make
    4)Companies with droid workforce go bankrupt
    5)Economic collapse because most companies have gone bankrupt
    6)What happens after that is anybodys guess

  • Please – read Limes Inferior – That problem is covered in that book

  • How can you sell anything for anyone with economics in utopia?

  • Picard knows what he's talking about.

  • Unfortunately, this TED talk seems quite persuasive when reviewing particular technological trends and the shrinking workplace. The first seven minutes compel and depress. Then, playing to our hopes, McAfee gets far more abstract, philosophical, and claims optimism. Let's just say the future could be rather spooky.

  • No applause at 11:28???

  • they tuk er jeerbs!

  • TedTalks and their stupid overly-loud wwwwWWWWAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!

  • Rumple Stiltskin

    McAfee is very correct, but it will continue until humanity realizes that all Value of everything comes from human labor. When you are sold a bill of goods about how robots will afford you more leisure time, the economics of how businesses will pay for that robotic upgrade is not taken into account. when human labor is devalued because of robotic upgrades those put out of work will not be able to afford the very products that robots produce without taking on two jobs at lower wages. Yes always lower wages because a glut of labor always increases competition in that labor force, thus reducing what a manufacturer would be willing to pay..

    This is what is called; "Sinking to the lowest common denominator" those who are qualified to do a job will not be willing to take on a like-job at a lower wage, so the company hires someone who will work for less and train them minimally to function on a plane not much above the level of a robot.

    And now my friends, we have literally thousands of college graduates who have no hope of procuring a job they have been told is out there for them at the wage believed to be able to sustain a family and home. Procuring a college education has been sold as the panacea for the new millennia, but it is factory jobs which made America strong, and they are disappearing because of profits that a company must maintain to support investors who expect more than a zero return on their investment.

    This route of the Austrian School of Economics in favor of the Keynesian economic model has proven to be a disaster, because it always favors central control where people become no more than robots themselves producing little of value for growth and essentially end up being just cogs in a machine.

    This boils down to robots not only robbing humanity of its productive value it is a method by which the rich are able to siphon off what little value there is left in labor to fill their own coffers for the Utopian view a mechanistic robotic future. IT AINT GONNA HAPPEN MY FRIENDS. NOT WITHOUT A MAJOR CENTRAL CONTROL OVERHAUL !!!

  • Some of the transport drivers will be affected? Try all.

  • 11:50 when he started talking about new technology helping fishers to increase their catches, the first thing I thought about was the collapse of the codfish industry in the Northwest which was almost solely caused by the introduction of advanced technology like radar and sonar at ships.

  • Dead objects are not dangerous, but the human mind is a killingmachine, even if its filled with,"good intensions", it always ends up in an earthly hellfire for us all. We build things to protect us, but then it always comes back as an ecco to kill us. If I say yes, you will say no. If I say peace, you will say war. Oure mindset and values becomes the foundation of oure reality. Humans must change their mindset and valuesystem, its totally corrupt. We create what oure minds dwells upon, and thats the problem. Just observe what we entertain ourself with, thats the answer to the main problem. You cant talk about peace if you urge for the kill.The word "sin" means "not being able to reach once target.". We are all sinners, and will therfore never ever reach our goal for peace and hapiness for all. If one repetely do the same thing and it always fails, then one must change the way one are approaching the problem with. Better tech cant help, it will only help the problem, not the solution..

  • At 10:40 He lost me for being racist and distorting the facts about Harvard's over admittance of minorities. “College is not a theater.” Students shouldn’t be chosen because they have the right ancestry to play parts in a play. They should be chosen on the basis of their desire and ability to learn.

  • Corporation greed

  • 13:15 'das me

  • It is sad how much man hates himself, goodbye yellow brick road. For we have no time to idle, no room for innocent ignorance. We lost hope in you dear boy, and Prometheus we have forgotten him too; his light won't visit us any longer, and though I may indeed harbor some misanthropy, It is indeed sad, because it is the end of you and I, and your stories will cease and so will my delight.

  • This will inevitably force the concept of "universal basic income" or "unconditional basic income"!

  • I think he is rigt. But if paradigmes do not shift. Men might live forever with nothing to do in a universe without meaning.

  • Par de seises Con moscas

    Job and May ! Happy Valentine's !

  • McAfee makes good points, but the flaw these techno-utopians all make is that don't consider technology and progress lives within the confines of a legal/social/cultural world which is SLOW to adopt revolutionary ideas. Take drones, self-driving cars, gene therapy all these cool ideas that will need to spend years within the legal-political system, as different interest groups endlessly debate their merits or dangers,all the while seeking to position themselves (be them lawyers, politicians, business elites) for maximum gain by way of their crooked laws. Sadly I think our techno future is going to look more like Elysium, where the elites will control the latest technology and use it not as McAffee wants for a better world for all, but the best world for a privileged few. that's just Human nature …

  • can a robot create new color?

  • Automation is pretty much proof that capitalism was a failure like every other system.

    I'm just so amused by how much people tried to defend "capitalism" while crying and bitching about every other system.
    Despite how childishly bad capitalist corporations will try to constantly and desperately look for excuses to use robots and stop paying workers, people will retaliate and tear the entire system down and dissolve into chaos and rampant wild indiscriminate chaotic mass murder killing of every person, it's just a reality of nature. Oh… and the people responsible… "CEO's" "Executives" etc, who pushed for robots and theft of people's livelihoods, will be dragged into the
    streets and murdered, because they're not special, despite the childish social romanticization of how much "money" or "profit" a person has, they bleed and biologically function like every other human.

    When on large enough of a scale, people won't lie down and accept childish greed of corporations and forced poverty, they'll retaliate with simple plain violence and murder.

    "Automation" simply won't happen on the scale that "Humans need not apply" said it would, because mass murder/suicide/crime/violence would all spike to unsustainable levels because people simply would not tolerate their means of life being stolen by childish corporations that crashed the economy because of their greed.

    The ONLY WAY that "automation" could ever work without crashing the entire country/economy and end in a mad max world, is if you give money to the people no longer allowed to work, and just give the people the money/profit the robots make, so that people can enjoy infinite happiness in lives of free time to make our personal lives about our personal interests/dreams, and therefore not be incentivized to drag CEO's into the streets and decapitate them for being the losers that crashed the country.

    Oh… wait… but no one enabling Automation has any proof that Corporations would allow the income/profit of the robots to go to the people no longer allowed to work, no one has any proof that we would be able to enjoy our lives of infinite happiness/free time to do with our lives what we want, after all, "corporations" are "about profit, not people", even if it means destroying the economy and collapsing the world back to the dark ages because of it.

  • Silly McAfee. At the beginning you ask "Not if but when droids take our jobs, what do we do when we're not involved in the production side of the economy?"

    And your conclusion is, "Our digital replacements will produce lots of wonderful technology that will change the world for the better."

    Sure! But where do we get the MONEY to buy the neat stuff? How does an economy work when half its individuals don't produce? What does an economy look like when a significant percentage of products and services are free of human labor costs? How do humans participate in an exchange in which they hold no capital and have their work rated as inferior to (at the same time more expensive) than software?

    Once the cat is out the bag you can't sweep away that innovation. This is what I take from your talk. Once the car drives itself you can't go back to the taxi driver. But I'm left with a lot of questions. If we can't get back the old jobs because a spark plug does it better and cheaper than me, where do I go? Are there new jobs? How many? Looking at the inception of new jobs over time, do we see them being created at a rate that would match the increasing unemployment? If they're not, what do we do with the unemployed? Are there going to be social programs to help them? Who pays for that?

  • He is such a great talker!! Listening to him is such a delight!

  • Galactic Vixen

    This used to be the stuff of science fiction and fantasy movies, and the stories you used to talk about with your buddies while drinking beer Friday evenings. Today, we are very seriously discussing this as we feel threatened. This world is changing too fast for my taste.

  • Daren Lee Bryant- Christensen

    It's ideal to me. They don't eat, do drugs, commit crime, and most of you ain't got to pay them therefore you can save trillions of dollars. It will also make time management comfortable but if you continue to be unlawful or dumb then we'll that's why we have the FEMA for and I believe that's is why they're building them to welcome in the machine

  • CanadianRepublican

    I think its gonna be interesting when robots push the majority of the workforce out of the market. Society will be forced to make some huge changes. As so few people earn income, there wont be buyers for products, and with unlimited production the prices would keep going down. The way we run our economies won't work.

  • More free time to do what? Not everyone wants to be a painter. A man/woman needs to BE something. Needs to wake up everyday & go to "work" (something you love)…just my own personal opinion. War against
    Robots? Some are ok.

  • This guy is an optimist but the facts are capitalists have never tried to help society at large it ha always been about shifting perceptions of people into you deserve to be poor etc hate those people not use as they gobble up everything. Anyone who believes that politicians will stand up for the people is kidding themselves as its proven they take money to do what ever the pay masters say

  • They took err joaaaabs!!!

  • Michael NakedPCTech

    I wrote papers on this subject while I was in college back in the 80's e.g. "Socio Economic Impact of the Information Revolution" and my professors gave me failing grades on them. Turns out I was just really ahead of my time.

  • one persons utopia is another persons distoipia.

  • McAfee should really be using a logarithmic scale on his chart that he is showing after 09:00. He knows that, but would not be as dramatic for his speach

  • Never trust a computer that you can't throw out of a window…

  • Their is a job, that robots can't tamper with. Being an "artist" I don't think robots can have original idea, design and they can't sculpt a 3D model right?

  • We should protest againest technology that does work

  • Are droids taking over our jobs?!?!?!?

    Answer yes simple as that so you don't have to watch a 14 long video of bullshit

  • AliRibelli Editoria Indie

    I think that innovation arises from needs. No need, no innovation.

  • Patrick Bourlett

    The thing about the fishery example is it uses a group that benefits from natural resources. ask the inner city poor what technology can do for them, and you would have a better explanation of what will happen to the vast majority of people that cannot access pre-existing capital.

  • I for one welcome our new omnic overlords and so should all of you guys.

  • Andrew – what world do you live in that you think the bottom of the economy are people who can afford cell phones? People at the bottom don't have cell phones and they live under bridges, and on the sides of irrigation aqueducts. Because you don't understand this your point on this talk lacked impact. If the US says there is 10% unemployed it's because telling the truth of 20%+ unemployed including those off the unemployment rolls who are not longer counted would tell everyone just how bad it is. And you fail to demonstrate in your talk how that's going to change.

  • I don't care what technology is capable of doing in the future to make lives easier as long as humans have the ability to provide for their needs and comforts equally and have time to do work that has purpose or meaning to themselves and their fellow beings.

  • wow so many i believe im optimistic its beneficial its going to be a utopia not dystopia but for who and what is this evidence you speak of, and not one slideshow presentation, sh it i could have done this talk without the disingenious harvard dolus pater misinformation from above!!!!

  • lamebubblesflysohigh

    Yes yes but what are tens of thousands of truck drivers in their 50s going to do? Yes they will have faster smartphone than they have today, they will be less likely to die on wrongly diagnosed disease at hospital, they will spend less time by cutting their lawn so on paper they will be better off than today… but that is worth jack ** if they can barely afford meds for their true disease, can't afford plane ticket to see their grand kids and have to worry about their washing machine breaking for good this time because they have only short term job and no savings because of that. Most people in workforce displaced by machines in late 40s and 50s will simply be too old to learn new crafts and even if they do they will be replaced by new machines again and again and again. And that is rich western world… what will happen in poor countries? We will have to invent entirely new economy very fast or there will be another world war.

  • DAVOOD ULHAKEEM

    ha ha im from kerala

  • So now we have to figure out a way whereby regular people can earn credits or shares into companies that use robots instead of people thereby freeing them to pursue the things they love to do instead of drudgery, which we were not created to do, and have the robots support us in a society which is egalitarian. Sounds like Utopia to me!

  • we live in interesting times…

  • Google has already axed their fleet of autonomous cars and they have also sold Boston Dynamics. Potential massive lawsuits, bad roads and a technology that cannot compete with and react to human drivers.

  • The new laws will make Siri and Alexa X babies. Therefore no gender is assigned calling "it" a she or her

  • The most significant things are food shelter and clothing along with fire.
    Peace of mind is yet to be invented by the human race. or we had it and left it behind. And being humans didn't invent it, there's no way to recover it.

  • cluckcluckcluckcluckcluckcluckcluckcluckcluckcluck

  • To understand the future, we need to know from the past. Se the technological line in the history, and you will see what we can see in the future. Just think about it, a king in the middle age, had a worst quality live that any person in the century XXl. Why? because the TECH, and low ignorance. Not any richment, not any money or gold can give you the best way to live as the technology does. I know what are you to think. And NO. It is no thanks to the money. The money just stock the progress and innovation.

  • Very true about the developments in the agricultural revolution when humans discovered how to grow their own food and domesticated animals instead of hunting and gathering the human population increased drastically and the lifestyle changed as well it wasnt until the agricultural revolution that empires and civilizations were able to develop and expand and endure the way they have in more recent history.

  • Yang2020

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