Uber has completed its first delivery using a self-driving truck.
In the next 30 years, we won’t be seeing truck drivers behind the wheel delivering our goods—it will be computers, robots, VR and AI.
Using people will be too expensive and too inefficient. People need bathroom breaks, they need to eat and sleep, they cause accidents, they run from accidents, they have labor laws, they get overtime pay and benefits, they need healthcare, they make messes, they are slow, they aren’t compliant and, most of all, they make mistakes.
Truck drivers are not the only ones being replaced. Look at grocery store clerks, short order cooks, anyone in a warehouse. The more repetitive the motion, the easier it will be to replicate and replace it with a robot.
No industry will look the same as it is today. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, programmers, developers, law enforcement officers—you name it. Some of these jobs will be completely eliminated while other will change so much we won’t even recognize them.
We have never seen this much change in one lifetime. (The printing press took several generations for it to spread.) It is scaring a lot of people to think that their industry could be wiped out in the next couple of decades.
But that’s what revolutions do. They tear down the old and enable the impossible.
So what happens when all the jobs are gone?
What are we going to do with all this time we have freed up?
What will it mean to be human?
By eliminating menial tasks from our daily routine, we will free up more time to solve more interesting problems. We will have more opportunities to do work that matters.
We shouldn’t be afraid of what technology has to offer. The smart ones will be running with technology, not away from it.