#AGICHAT 6: Why do humans need work?


Humanity has always strived for survival, and throughout history, the nature of work has been based upon a need to solve societies sustenance problems, such as how to provide clean water and food, shelter, medication, education, trade, entertainment and defence.

Today, however, this is changing due to decentralisation and automation which is moving us toward a time of abundance. It is entirely conceivable that we would no longer need to tackle these basic sustenance issues in the same way and could do away with work altogether.

Therefore today on #AGICHAT we ask ‘Why do humans need work?’

#futurism #artificialintelligence #debate #singularitynet #futureofwork


Lyrics in a song sung by Charlie King go, ‘Well my life is more than my work, and my work is more than a job.’

For myself, at age 64 and with retirement close at hand, my perspective on the need for work may be different than for someone at a different stage of life.

The work of Creating Terrestrial Intelligence (CTI) is progressing. As it progresses beyond the exascale level, my work will be seeking ways to merge my consciousness with TheMind.


I noticed something. People are absolutely freaking out about AI automating them out of a job. But what do people do on Monday? They talk about what they did over the weekend – and what they want to do next weekend. They slave away for that one week at Ocean City Maryland each year. I think most workers are under the illusion that their job is important, but actually it’s those moments when they are not tied to jobs that they are most alive, most free, and most creative. They have become blinded by the means that they can not – right now – envision the end.
Provided that the means is taken care of during the age of abundance, most people will handle the transition flawlessly. They will find meaning outside of their duties. People who love their jobs will probably find ways to replicate that joy through hobbies and social organizations.
The ones who will suffer the most are the ones who equate their being with their doing. People who derive their chunks of their self-esteem from their titles and power over others will need to find other ways to replace this crisis in meaning.


I had to laugh because this is so true. Well, if I could get the same money I am getting now, and the robot could do my job for me, that would be great! But the problem is – what happens if we don’t work? Today, we do not know any other consequence than that it would give trouble because we would not be able to pay our bills and eat.


Agreed. I think the difficulty will be the transition into an abundance economy. And some tools should definitely be considered UBI and data-for-pay ideas.


We want work. It is a proof of reputation…


What are the political or social mechanisms beneath the “abundance economy”? We ALREADY have more than enough stuff and food. The problem, it seems to me, is the distribution of the stuff…I would like to know more about how the introduction of AI will change this?