Perhaps the true catalyst for change in our work lives isn't just AI; it might be our own perspective.
John Maynard Keynes once prophesied a future of leisure, where technological advancement – science and compound interest – would slash our work hours. This was in 1930.
As we stand in the age of Artificial Intelligence 94 years later, this vision is tantalizingly close, yet still so far. So far, because the question isn't just about what AI can do for us, but also what we have to demand for ourselves.
Can we redefine success, not by the hours we spend at work, but by the fulfillment we glean from it?
Can we redefine productivity, not by the hours we spend at work, but by the inventiveness we use to solve for work? By the value we create? What is the real value difference between transporting a group of children in an aircraft designed by engineers and accompanying a group of children through kindergarten as an educator for 2 years?
This shift in mindset, coupled with AI's prowess, could unlock the door to a balanced life where productivity is a means to an end, not the end itself.
In this new era, it’s not about AI taking over our jobs, but about us taking control of our time which is limited by the death.
A collaborative, thoughtful approach to integrating AI in our work life holds the key to not just working less but living more. Because life limited only by our time – yes I’ll say it: “death is inevitable.”
Or are we too afraid of falling into an existential crisis? Are those who make our policies afraid that we might fall into an existential crisis?
Thus for the first time since his creation man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem-how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares, how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him, to live wisely and agreeably and well.
— John Maynard Keynes, Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren (1930)