Last week I was speaking at an event in Istanbul. As usual, once I landed at the airport, I made my way to the customs area where I was greeted by no fewer than 1,000 people in line ahead of me.
Long lines in airport customs is not unusual. But as I waded through this 45-minute process I couldn’t help but do some mental calculations surrounding the massive waste of human capital throughout this whole process. Since there were two separate customs areas at the Istanbul airport, my rough calculations came out to well over 10 million man-hours a year wasted at this one single airport.
It’s not unusual for governments to waste people’s time over what they like to phrase as “the greater good.” However, this entire security process will eventually be automated down to a fraction of the time it takes today, eliminating the need for over 90% of all customs agents.
The same goes for TSA-like security agents on the front end of airports. Within the next decade, 90% of those jobs will be gone as well. All of them, automated out of existence.
A recent article in The Economist quotes Bill Gates as saying at least a dozen job types will be taken over by robots and automation in the next two decades, and these jobs cover both high-paying and low-skilled workers. Some of the positions he mentioned were commercial pilots, legal work, technical writing, telemarketers, accountants, retail workers, and real estate sales agents.
Indeed, as I’ve predicted before, by 2030 over 2 billion jobs will disappear. Again, this is not a doom and gloom prediction, rather a wakeup call for the world.
Will we run out of work for the world? Of course not. Nothing is more preposterous than to somehow proclaim the human race no longer has any work left to do. But having paid jobs to coincide with the work that needs to be done, and developing the skills necessary for future work is another matter.
Our goal needs to be focused on the catalytic innovations that create entirely new industries, and these new industries will serve as the engines of future job creation, unlike anything in all history.
I have written in the past about future industries. This time I’d like to focus on many of the future jobs within these industries that currently don’t exist.
See the list here http://www.impactlab.net/2014/03/21/162-future-jobs-preparing-for-jobs-that-dont-yet-exist/