The huge “I don’t know” market


14th February 2018

Ingo Plöger, President, Strategic Council, CEAL
The digitalization of our life, revolution 4.0 and the Internet of Things all give us innovations in work, in social life and in the way we exist. They make us ask existential questions.
Among them, the most compelling is how long until we are replaced by AI – Artificial Intelligence- and robots in the work we do today. Several scenarios show that 50% of the work we do today will be replaced in the next 15 years by these innovations. Students who are about to enter college are wondering if their study choice will become obsolete at the height of their careers.
What about the simplest activities? Won’t the impact be even greater? This and several similar questions are part of a debate that is growing stronger in the most diverse business, academic, social and union circles. Will we have jobs and work in the future? Should we restrict robotization or even tax them to safeguard human employment?
Let us take a few moments in the following context:
We are part of a modern sandal-making company, and we have just applied AI and robotization in all our activities, reducing costs by 30%, laying off 50% of our workforce and greatly increasing our profitability. To increase our participation in the market we pass on the effectiveness to the price, and what we used to sell for 100 today we sell at 70 with good profit. Our consumer when buying our product now for 70 saved has saved 30. We ask what he will buy with these 30? Other …

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