336 pages and Kindle suggests that it would take you 6 hours and 43 minutes to read it in a traditional way (or 20 minutes if you speed read it). Don’t have 7 hours – just watch this 60-minute talk by Daniel Susskind summarising his book A World Without Work: Technology, Automation and How We Should Respond.
If you’re worried that you’ll be out of work in the near future – relax – it might take some time to be free of work (at best, a decade or so at least). But it’s certain that a world without work is already approaching, gradually (you’ll be pleased to know), whether you like it or nor, or understand it or not. Automation, AI, quantum computing and master algorithms will make all work obsolete in the future.
The new AI machines no longer need to reason like us or be modelled on human behaviour in order to outperform us. Already, AI is better at diagnosing illnesses, drafting legal contracts, writing PhDs, navigation and driving cars, etc. For example, AI can spot loopholes in contracts in just 26 seconds and with 94% accuracy compared to humans who take 93 minutes with 85% accuracy. There goes the whole profession. So if you’ve got a meaningful job/career/vocation – enjoy it while it lasts.
• In times of radical uncertainty – flexibility and career adaptation are key.
• You have to evolve and educate yourself. You won’t be able to leave education – ever (learn how to learn and speed reading now). It’s not only what and how you learn but also, when. Skills to compete and build things (systems and machines) will be in high demand.
• Technology will surpass humans with AI, patterns recognition, etc.
• In the world without work, work as the source of money and meaning will have to be redefined. If you define yourself by what you do – stop. What you do is NOT who you are.
• It’s going to be more about leisure, not about the world with less work since most people won’t be working. Leisure (virtual or onsite) is going to be the biggest business.
• It will be a better world, more prosperous thanks to technology with the increasing capacity of machines to do amazing things, such as write beautiful music or poetry or design wonderful buildings (which AI already can perform). And it will be a world with more complex challenges such as the distribution of wealth, meaning without work, inequality, basic income (universal or conditional), social-political power, etc, as well as surveillance and privacy issues.
• When? To quote William Gibson (who coined the term ‘cyberspace’), “The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.”
A World Without Work: Technology, Automation and How We Should Respond by Daniel Susskind is a natural continuation of his previous book The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind which suggests the same idea ie whatever your profession is – it is not safe – because it will be automated, done by an algorithm, AI or computers much better in the near future.