The Japanese government calls the new age we are on the cusp of “Society 5.0”.
/In this new ultra-smart society, all things will be connected through IoT technology and all technologies will be integrated, dramatically improving the quality of life./
As our current Information Age fades away, and we begin to enter the next societal cycle, our entire skills system as it currently stands will begin to become obsolete. Although not yet named (my current favourite is the Skynet Age) it will be a period driven by automation and algorithmically designed labour.
On the surface this may look harmful to us, our ability to perform work is intrinsically linked to our prosperity, but on the whole it will be a positive shift. Current roles that are mundane, time consuming or dangerous can be automated, efficiency can be increased and costs reduced. But if the robots are doing all the work, what will we do?
As with any change of direction, there will be uncertainties, but if we look ten or twenty years into the past we can see that many of today’s roles didn’t exist, just as many of the roles from that time don’t exist in the here and now. Areas that require empathy will be increasingly in demand, and this will be a huge positive for our current isolating existence. But the most exciting possibilities centre around the fact that we can now give more time to advancing the human race, not just technologically but in whole new directions.
As we reduce our dependency on the concept of labour as a financial motivator, our ability to create new everyday realities becomes much more tangible. A period of understanding and discovery could be right around the corner.