Tin soldier

This is not a blog about Trump or Brexit, even though all over the world people are coming to terms with new political realities. It is also not about the existential Angst fueling this political trend. Whether this brave new world will throw us back to the depressing thirties or propel us to prosperity for more than the happy few, is a prediction impossible to make. Politics might just not matter.

The economic future for most of us answers to a different logic. Twenty-five to fifty percent of all jobs will over the next three decades be replaced, not by immigrants as some might have you believe, but by artificial intelligence, dominating the workplace. It will form with globalization the perfect partner in crime to produce the kind of robots taking the bigger half of the intellectual work out of our hands. Understand that there are no future-proof jobs. Artificial Intelligence will affect all jobs, also doctors, lawyers and financial analysts.

This should not throw us in an existential angst. Future-proof jobs have never existed. What is different now is the speed of change. We need to adapt a lot faster than we are naturally inclined to. Most of us are unwilling to do so. We want to hold on to a world of work we know, where we master a well-defined role with a well-defined salary within a well-defined legal, social and economic setting. This privilege is dwindling and will cease to exist for the vast majority.

Future generations will find in artificial intelligence an ambivalent technology. It has the potential to make all of our lives better. It could also widen the gap between the haves and have-nots.

For these generations, we need to fundamentally rethink our education system, how we organize work and reward, what inclusion in the workforce really means and how participation as a valued member of a truly diverse society is organized and rewarded.

But first and foremost, we should let them decide how this brave new world needs to look. We, fifty-year olds and more, remnants of the baby boom, should step aside and give them the keys to the future. This is what this blog is about, not about a tin soldier in a white house.

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