Leaving nature: how new technologies will change our lives

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Many professions that are popular today will disappear, and IT specialists will be the most in demand on the labor market. The technological revolution will also affect the political world order. States will have to fight the monopolists of the virtual world, and governments will have to look for ways to overcome large-scale unemployment. About the cybernetics of tomorrow and the upcoming changes – in the material RT.

Today, the world is on the verge of another industrial revolution, which can turn not only the relationship between employees and corporations, but also between citizens and the state. Computer performance is growing exponentially: according to Moore’s Law, each next generation of processors is twice as large as its predecessors.

Artificial intelligence, the transformation of the socio-economic structure of society under the influence of growing robotization, is not spoken about today by science fiction writers, but by respectable economists and scientists. The previous stages of scientific and technological revolution made it possible to shift most of the gross physical labor onto machines. Thus, there is a transition from industry to a post-industrial society, where most of the people are employed in the non-production sphere.

However, at the next stage of technological development, non-production areas of the economy will also be automated. For example, some retail chains have already started testing cash registers, which make it possible to do without sellers, and this trend is gaining momentum. “Electronic workers” are being introduced in the banking sector as well. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the head of Sberbank, German Graf, said that by 2025 he plans to cut the staff by half – through the use of the latest information technologies.

World Bank Chief Executive Officer Krista Lina Georgieva believes that in a few years, a number of today’s popular professions will begin to wither away.

“There are calculations that in a few years a call center specialist will become a disappearing profession. We can no longer think of artificial intelligence as science fiction, ”Georgieva said in an interview with reporters.

Business Insider analysts have calculated that within the next 10-20 years, up to 47% of jobs in the United States may be occupied by robots. Researchers Daron Acemoglu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Pascal Respro of Yale University concluded that robotization leads to a gradual decrease in wages and also reduces the economically active population.

Of course, technological unemployment is not a new phenomenon. At the beginning of the 19th century, England was engulfed in massive protests related to the introduction of machine production. At the dawn of the first industrial revolution, people really could not compete with machine tools and were left without a livelihood.

The Luddites (as the members of the angry workers’ movement got this name) smashed the first factories, and the government had to send the army to suppress the riots.

Illusory equality

But today we are faced with much deeper changes. Social networks, search engines and video hosting are reshaping the structure of social communications, have a tremendous impact on the work of the media, and change the principles of obtaining information. Many day-to-day operations are performed using software: shopping in online stores, calling a taxi, searching for convenient routes on the map, choosing a café or hotel. Even the state bureaucratic system dared to go online: e-government has significantly simplified communications between citizens and officials.

There has also been a tendency towards the erosion of the state monopoly in the issue of funds. Blockchain technology allows any user to market and generate virtual currencies. Now cryptocurrencies are coming out of the shadows, gaining more and more popularity. Since April 1, 2017, cryptocurrencies in Japan have been equated to regular money and are considered legal tender.

In Russia, they decided to take a slightly different path. As the deputy chairman of the Central Bank Olga Skorobogatova said, the financial regulator plans to create a national cryptocurrency – in fact, to bring the ruble into the virtual space.

At the same time, informatization arouses not only enthusiasm, but also a serious concern of experts.

One of the problems is the monopolization of the information technology market. This, in particular, was stated by the Nobel Prize laureate in economics Christopher Pessaries, speaking at the SPIEF-2017.

IT giants like Microsoft and Facebook own disproportionately large shares of the global market, taking advantage of the lack of national borders on the web. In the future, this threatens not only economic, but also political costs.

American programmer, IT entrepreneur Martin Ford writes about the rapid monopolization of the virtual market. The IT sphere is democratic only at first glance, says Ford. To open an IT startup, as a rule, you do not need large investments or a diploma from an elite university. However, there is much tougher competition in the information technology sector than in the real sector. The absence of barriers in the form of national borders, customs duties and distances leads to a rapid monopolization of the market.

“Internet revenue almost always follows a winner-take-all distribution model. Although in theory the Internet should equalize everyone in terms of opportunity, removing all barriers to entry, in fact, activities in it always lead to high levels of inequality, ”says Ford.

High-tech companies have long outpaced enterprises in the real sector in terms of capitalization. In 2016, for the first time, the rating of the most expensive US companies was topped by information companies, displacing Exxon Mobil Corp., which has never dropped below the fifth line since 1980. At the same time, fewer people work in IT corporations: for comparison, Google recorded a profit of almost $ 14 billion, with only 38 thousand employees, while at the time of its heyday 840 thousand people worked for General Motors.