I wrote this essay 9 years ago when I was running Exosphere. Nearly a decade later, we see these trends are accelerating, and white collar professions are being rapidly obsoleted by automation and intelligence machines. The next 9 years will be even more extreme. Are you prepared?

All parents say they want what is best for their children. They make incredible sacrifices to afford better educational opportunities, the ability to travel, and all sorts of other things that would have been considered unbelievable luxuries for a person of any age, much less a young person, fifty years ago. But of all the “better” things parents want for their children, it’s eventual economic opportunity in life. Better job, better career, easier life raising the grandchildren.

The advent of automation has always taken people out of artisan tasks. It is easier for a machine to make a chair than for a person to do it. Most automotive factories in Japan are now almost completely automated. The creep of tasks performed by machines and computers has accelerated at an accelerating rate, thanks to Moore’s Law, which as yet doesn’t seem to be slowing much, and with quantum computing on the horizon, the game may change even faster.

“Good,” says the average parent. “It means my child won’t have to work on an assembly line and can be in an office instead.”

The trouble, as it turns out, is that it’s not just assembly line jobs that are being automated. Indeed, it is almost all of the non-creative processing jobs that fill the Western service economy.

Mortgage document analysis? Loan officer? Their days are numbered.

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