You turn up for work and the boss tells everyone he has an announcement to make. You're no longer needed. You're being made redundant. Who will take you and your colleagues places? A workforce of robots.
Sounds like science fiction, but in the documentary Humans Need Not Apply filmmaker CGP Grey looks at how an automated workplace may not be purely fictional. And may not be far off, either.
In a rather terrifying but fascinating 15 minutes Grey lays out some well-researched reasons and statistics as to why robots might well become a majority in the workforces of the near-future.
And it's not going to come about in some kind of dramatic, Terminator-style fashion—but rather quietly and methodically. By the time we realise that robots account for most of the jobs in the world that were previously assigned to humans, it'll be too late says Grey.
Giving an example of how horses were once indispensable to the workplace and have now been almost entirely replaced in the developed world by automobiles.
From CP Grey's site:
This might have been a lot to take in, and you might want to reject it -- it's easy to be cynical of the endless, and idiotic, predictions of futures that never are. So that's why it's important to emphasize again this stuff isn't science fiction. The robots are here right now. There is a terrifying amount of working automation in labs and warehouses that is proof of concept.
We have been through economic revolutions before, but the robot revolution is different.
Horses aren't unemployed now because they got lazy as a species, they’re unemployable. There's little work a horse can do that pays for its housing and hay.
And many bright, perfectly capable humans will find themselves the new horse: unemployable through no fault of their own.