One day, the majority of work will be automated away by AI and Robots. Life will take on a different meaning when we no longer struggle for survival but instead struggle to understand the meaning of life. After all, if you don’t need to worry about food and predators what should you focus on?
As work gradually progresses to an automated and self sufficient state humans will self organize into enclaves of different thought, an extreme version of Paul Graham’s Cities and Ambition essay. Cities, communities and localities will explore unique philosophical and cultural crafts that create distinct socio-cultural identities. Religion will shift, transmuting to explain the questions of the time. Questions like, how should I spend my time if I can now do anything I want? What morals and ethical codes should I abide by if I can essentially live forever? Is it right to bring a child into a world bereft of meaning? What is it that I value, that society values, if all our physical wants and needs are provided? As always, they will seek to answer what is the meaning of life?
Governments will become the arbiters of the autonomous food supply chain and the robotics empowered labor economy of the world. These systems will be regulated and controlled by governments to address collective actions dilemmas associated with automated life and ensure true global equality. IE: Instinctually, humans are programed to care for themselves and in when exposed to abundance this can lead to a stockpiling mentality. But if as a society we can pool resources to care for everyone, then shouldn’t we? The thought being that by socializing these self sufficient processes we can ensure everyone has a chance at life.
In this future, government will not only provide traditional welfare such as food and financial support but will also distribute work rations so that everyone can have a chance to experience an instinctual real life. Work will not be seen as labor but as a means to feel some semblance of productive purpose in life. When you struggle to cope with the meaning of life your government appointed therapist will prescribe labor therapy.
Shift work will be distributed on ration cards to those unable to find productive purpose on their own. Modern forms of depression will befall those that have lost their entrepreneurial ways.
There will be a desire to do something real outside of a simulated, digital and virtual environment. Wealth will mean having the freedom to live and work as our ancestors did amongst the fields with soil, greenery and animals. All will covet time outside of urbanized environments.
On a fundamental level we are and always will express status seeking behavior. A fight against equality programed into our DNA. The innate desire to rise above our peers in some way to get the best mates to reproduce with. It seems that as long as we are programmed with status seeking behaviors there will always be a sense of stored “value” in society. Haves and have nots.