Income & Employment for our Robotic and AI future
short description
47% of existing labor in the US will be replaceable by robots & AI in 20 years. Traditional job structures will not suffice for this loss.

Your Story

What are you passionate about? [public]
Robots, AI, Appropriate Technology, IOT, creating jobs, reducing poverty, and using technology to give all people a basic standard of living.

I'm a firm believer in the power of stories in shaping our world. How we envision technology shaping our future is as important as how that technology is deployed in the marketplace. We stand at a crossroads where the impacts on employment of AI and Robotics could be horrendous or miraculous in coming years. Robots in factories have already displaced a great many workers. It is time for us to start thinking of new solutions as robot deployments expand

Your Prize Concept

If you are selected as a Visioneer, you will develop a prize concept in collaboration with a company sponsor, fellow innovators, and the XPRIZE team. This may or may not be the challenge concept you propose in this application.

What do you prize? [public]
A future in which #robots and #AI help us create things we have never dreamed of and solve the challenges of meeting the needs of all people
What Grand Challenge do you propose a prize competition should solve? [public]
47% of existing labor in the US will be replaceable by robots & AI in 20 years. Traditional job retraining will not suffice for this loss. A weak parallel may be found in the farming which dropped in the US from 20% of the population down to 2% in the space of 50 years. But this parallel discounts the scope of jobs to be displaced by automation and robotics. New concepts of jobs and new methods of re-skilling need to be developed that speed the pace of acquisition of new skills and the transition for workers between fields. Heartwarming anecdotal examples of this transition exist like David Lang's "Zero to Maker" journey from financial services professional to robotics inventor and CEO. But this level of re-skilling requires a significant resource base and personal investment that is currently difficult for many to achieve. A combination of improved training methods and improved safety net support need to be developed to help workers transition to from a traditional labor economy to our post robotic and AI future. Waiting for government policy to catch up to the speed of coming change will not be sufficient. New private initiatives both for profit and non-profit will be needed.
What would the world look like when the Grand Challenge is solved? [public]
Agricultural productivity for the bulk of the population is accomplished with a 2% participation rate. In our AI/Robotics future overall global productivity may require less than 1% of the population. Only a minority may have the qualifications to keep pace with the change in technology.

Now few people who are wealthy earn money for labor. We don't begrudge somebody living off of interest or investments. We need a new system for resource exchange outside of traditional labor for most people. Perhaps this is a new monetary system, or a skills bank, or a MMOG? A new paradigm is needed.

comments (public)

  • Randall Gabriel Feb. 26, 2017, 11:20 a.m. PST
    My personal favorite option is to tax the robots owners because it will be nothing compared to what they save and then implement a universal ensure everyone's basic needs are met. Good luck!
  • Lance McNeill Feb. 16, 2017, 10 a.m. PST
    This is super interesting. A colleague of mine and I were just talking about this issue. With so much automation, how do we continue to employ people and give them a purpose? Best of luck to you on this proposal.