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What will you do when you no longer need to work?

Paul MiddletonPaul Middleton

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Advances in technology mean unemployment is likely to grow significantly within your working lifetime

Imagine an automated warehouse where the cost of accommodating human workers (by having lights, bathrooms, lunch areas and car spaces) is greater than the cost of driver-less robots that don't need lights, are less prone to errors and don't take breaks. Is it possible that it would be cheaper to pay your staff to stay at home? This is not science fiction, it's reality; and it's not just impacting manufacturing and supply-chain type businesses.

At the Telstra Vantage 2017 conference this week, Anoop Sagoo, Senior Managing Director, Operations at Accenture, shared that they're automating processes at a rate of over 20% a year. With ~373,000 employees worldwide (Source: Wikipedia/Accenture), that's a lot of jobs at risk.

Accenture has been a (The?) global leader in Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement since its acquisition of George Group in 2007. You'd have to assume that the rest of us would find even more wasteful, repetitive and process-based tasks to optimise through automation.

With unemployment estimated to reach 50% within 30 years (Source: CNET.com) what will everyone do with their time? What will you do? (And why aren't you doing that now?)

As Moshe Vardi, computer science professor at Rice University in Texas, has said, the prospect of leading a "leisure only life" would not be appealing to many. But what would you do if you chose work for fun rather than financial reward? Perhaps you already have?

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