In the future when the Bots and AI have all of the jobs will that just leave us humans having all the fun? Will our days be filled with moving from one virtual reality game to another? Of course, we won’t all be unemployed. To be sure we will need people to develop virtual worlds and the games that we might play in them as well as people to design and maintain not only the hardware but to keep the lights on so to speak. With Bots and AI assistants, we might only need a fraction of humans that we now need to do those tasks.
That will leave a whole class of individuals with nothing to do. Characterized as the “Useless Class” by Yuval Noah Harari they will not just be the unemployed, but the unemployable.
Assuming that government (or their parents) provide them some type of “Universal Basic Income,” an idea under consideration in Canada and other places. In fact, even in the USA a UBI already exists if you consider entitlements such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as well as a variety of welfare programs. If basic necessities were provided for then the need to work would not be required to live. Leaving a lot of extra time to enter digital realms that cost little or even nothing but the hardware to join them.
One could debate whether a UBI should exist, but that is not something I would plunge into. Rather I would observe that the results of all of this impressive technology whether you are employed, unemployed or unemployable, is that your standard of leisure time activities through virtual reality will be much higher, perhaps in ways that are a magnitude above what you now enjoy in the “real world.”
If a virtual world were so intriguing and enjoyable that you never needed to leave it would that be your new reality? I just finished the first draft of my next novel in the “The Metaverse” series. It’s a story where the lines between what is real and what isn’t are not merely blurred. What is real has been reduced to abstract thought. The only reality becomes for many, the dimension that they currently occupy.
To protect that reality some might even kill.
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