Software is eating the world. And it’s only the beginning.

Software is eating the world. And it’s only the beginning.

(soft music) – Check out this self-driving truck. These are getting pretty good. Waymo is testing autonomous
tractor-trailers in Atlanta right now, and this
Einride truck, you can see there isn’t any space for a driver. There’s no deployment plans yet, but when these finally
make it on to the roads, they’re going to make shipping a lot cheaper. At the same time, millions of people who
drive trucks right now are gonna be looking for a new job. It’s not just truckers. This McKinsey Report estimated that about half of the jobs
people are doing right now could be automated with
technology we already have. The same report says that
between now and 2030, 400 million workers globally could lose their jobs to automation. This isn’t just about computers
becoming smarter than humans. It’s a profound change in
the way our economy works. And it doesn’t have to be a bad one. You just have to look at the big picture. So what’s happening to
trucking is the same thing that happened to
Blockbuster, travel agents, grocery store cashiers,
and dozens of other jobs. They’re being replaced
by a piece of software, which means the first model is expensive. But all the copies are basically free. In the business world they
call this Zero Marginal Cost, which means you can add
new users and revenue without spending more money. To see how that works, think
about how we share photos. – Kodak Film, for the times of your life. – For most of the 20th Century, Kodak was the biggest name in photography. But it couldn’t survive the smart phone. Kodak filed for bankruptcy in 2011, just four years after
the first iPhone launch. Now, instead of manufacturing
millions of canisters of film, we just use an app. It’s a good app, but it’s
not that complicated. And throwing more programmers at it won’t really make it better. At its peak, Kodak
employed 145,000 people. Instagram: it’s just under 500, and Instagram is worth a lot more money. So what happened to all those jobs? The shift didn’t come from some brilliant new
film-developing robot. We just stopped using film. It’s not robots replacing workers, but Zero Marginal Cost businesses
replacing legacy industry. People argue a lot whether
this is good for business or bad for workers. If you’re a pessimist, it looks like the end
of jobs as we know it. All the high-employment
companies like Kodak lose out to smaller
smarter tech replacements. Production gets more efficient. Wealth gets more concentrated. And unemployment goes through the roof. But where pessimists see
a future without jobs, optimists see a future without work. It used to take a lot
of labor to call a cab or get something shipped to your house. But now it’s easy. Businesses found a way
to serve lots of people with a single up-front investment. And that efficiency makes it
a lot cheaper for everyone. Some people look at that process and imagine a society where automation makes
almost everything free. Technological unemployment could be offset by a vastly cheaper cost of living, and social programs, like a Basic Income, People get really excited about this idea. Sometimes too excited. – You fuckin’ learn how to
use computers to make money in an easy way. And then you use that money to sustain like a commune basically. – It’s the first new economic system to enter onto the world stage, since capitalism and socialism
in the nineteenth century. It’s remarkable. – But we’re still really
far from that world. Most of the benefits of scaled software are going to people who own
Facebook and Google stock. It hasn’t touched stuff like housing, health care, and education, which are still where Americans
spend most of their money. That’s all getting more expensive. And swapping out your
cable bill for Netflix isn’t gonna make up the difference. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Even if we don’t go all the way to Luxury Space-Communism, we can still use progressive
taxation to fund things like public education and
universal health care. But first, we have to
admit there’s a problem. Thanks for watching. If you want to learn more about AI, Verge Science has a really
cool video right now about scientists using
Artificial Intelligence to achieve fusion. You can find that at And as always, like and subscribe.

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  1. Adding users and revenue for no cost. Users that are out of a job ? How are they going to pay for said revenue ? Condescending berk

  2. Why is this news? Automation has been killing jobs since the beginning of industrial revolution in the 19th century, and there's an ongoing revolt against it since. Get your facts straight.

  3. I think people in charge overestimate the power of automation. Nobody really talks about pieces needed to automate so many, these just keep saying people are working on it. The biggest threat is that chips have already stopped getting faster and the software is very weak in some areas

  4. People mourning Kodak job loss…..Just think how many jobs digital camera created ……of all those youtubers…professional webcam strippers?

  5. Worksharing, 4 hour workdays, obsolescence pay, etc. Alvin Toffler was talking about these issues many years ago. Full employment with less work and happier people is possible if we get our heads out of the dark ages.

  6. Kodak didn't die because of smartphones, it's pretty obvious from your graph. It died because of the digital photography revolution.

  7. Question, what is the truck driver going to do when they have no other skill sets but driving a truck and they lose their job to automation?

  8. I’m not a pessimist, but are business owners going to keep employees and make work days from 5 to 4? Definitely not. Even if they did, the compensation of employees will decrease, so the wealth disparity will increase

  9. This is good, work is for robot's.
    Living life is for humans!
    The sooner we get to 4 working days and 3 free days the better!

  10. The value of money and labour will change. Either we force ourselves to hamburger jobs, forced education, artwork and nursery. Or we will get a lot of spare time while our life expectancy expands. And the first and last question will have to be answered. Why are we conscious and does the universe have any meaning? And are we willing to face this question? Or do we avoid it and find ourselves just an occupation. Humanity not just a human will have to move up the Maslow scale. FAST!!

  11. Good luck convincing the richest people around the world to reinvest the fruits of technology, and the concentrated wealth it provides, into systems that don't ultimately benefit them directly. We'd need governments strong enough to enforce some form of reasonable wealth redistribution yet the rich have gotten increasingly good at working the levers of political power. As optimistic as I like to be about the benefits of technology, I have trouble seeing how we can disseminate those benefits to the majority of people with some kind of great upheaval that puts the whole thing at risk.

  12. It doesn't matter if we think it's bad or good. It's progress. Progress has and will always be present in humanity. It only matters what we make of it. The more negative we approach it, the more negative of an effect it has on is. Yes, it really is as simple as that. We have to educate ourselves as much as possible to then implement necessary laws and stuff.

    It's mindblowing how people never see just HOW MANY jobs our latest progress in tech (last 20 years) has created, whereas a smaller fraction has been eliminated. Yes, things will adjust, but most models show it will be equal.
    Either way, we have far more pressing problems in the world.

  13. Software is zero marginal cost – not machines nimrod. Machines can actually be more expensive than 3rd world labor depending on the task. As for the truckers being replaced, I seriously doubt that will come to full fruition. You see you carry over a million dollars worth of cargo across the US you will want to have someone sitting next to it. A computer can be easily tricked, hacked, or even hi-jacked(by the truckers who lost their job).

  14. The masses are not ready for this. Just what the world needs a bunch of testosterone young men with nothing to do! And btw, who is going to decide what a "basic" income is? This is Bullsh**

  15. "Pessimists sees a future without jobs, optimists see a future without work."

    They're both wrong. In fact, there is no evidence that technological advancement leads to fewer jobs. If this was true, than we would have already seen this effect like 50 years ago! New jobs are still being created at a higher rate than they are being lost to automation.

    Why is this the case? Because as standards of livings rise, people's expectations for standard of living also go up, so more and more work is required to maintain them and push them up.

  16. Technological impovements have been reducing the need for human labor for centuries. Economists regularly analyze the labor productivity growth rate, and it turns out that over the past couple of decades, it hasn't sped up with computerization – it's actually slowed down!

    The changes we're seeing today are not fundamentally different from the changes we were seeing 50 or 100 or 200 years ago. Since the industrial revolution, livings standards have raised dramatically, but we haven't stopped working – actually, we spend more hours per week working now than we did in the 1800's.

  17. It cost a lot to make software. Now, to scale that software to many users/customers, you have to scale your infrastructure (server, load-balancers, etc.) Infrastructure cost a fair bit

  18. People need to get smarter and stop taking useless college courses. Even better, the government should make people fill in roles that are needed. No one is entitled a job yet disposable people do nothing but complain about who much they hate their job.

  19. Finally, I'm not the only one that thinks this way,
    But the only problem is getting to that automated future where everything is free (i would want to believe – maybe humans will be allowed to do work whenever they want to, and if they are good at it. maybe by that time, work becomes like how we think jobs are supposed to be – something you love to do – i.e. your job is your hobby — so, jobs that need human touch or within the entertainment industry will be within demand)

  20. My brother and I are already brainstorming what sorts of jobs be left and jobs are going to be created when everything will be automated. I don't want to get jobless you know.

  21. Cheaper cost of living? Hey, remember the pre-internet where the optimist said we will do less work with computers around?

    Work is still work as I see it, you need to work for your paycheck

  22. Time to start a side business and work hard, so when automatization comes you can benefit your own business and not depend on a job that could disappear in a couple years.

    Also, automation is not only for 'blue collar jobs', but also for 'white collar jobs' even jobs on tech like developers, designers, and many others, is really crazy to watch a computer create an Instagram clone in 35minutes from 0 to 15K lines of code. D:

  23. If 50% of work is made automated. Then ourlives could be easier and live 50% like wallE. Humans dont need to work anymore and could do what they love to do.

  24. It was a great video until you brought up "luxury" Communism LOL.

    Been born in a Communist country and seeing my parents work for 60$ a MONTH was NOT luxurious.

  25. Oooooh for f* sake, being against automation is absolutely stupid. Is someone against the automation of elevators that already happened decades ago? Come on.

  26. My future business . Create robots and sell it to you so you can send them to work win not so much win for Mr. Robot but anyway

  27. The real question is do robots pay taxes?
    Should their be a special tax based on company / worker ratio?
    The only job I believe in the future would be if people are going to colonize out of space.
    My friends company does automation I have seen from first hand what it can do . You replace like 20 people with 2-3 machines and thats about it.
    These unemployed youth resort to drugs or end up working at mcdonals .
    Once their belt is tightened you will expect to see mass divorces, single moms . People will resort to drugs as alternative to cope up with the ME ME ME and I WANT THAT society.

  28. Automation and AI wont actually replace jobs but would create another set of mundane desk jobs such as training the machine learning algorithms with labeled pics and data or feeding the industrial robot with steps for the task. In short we are creating another kind of boring jobs by replacing one kind of boring jobs.
    PS: you guys forgot to mention other jobs that are created in photo editing and cloud storage software firms that are created by the rise of digital photography. Be thorough in your analysis guys.

  29. Great video showing the numerous positive broad societal impacts of automation and digitization. You had me until you could help but throw your politics in at the last second. The automation and digitization of education, housing and health care will come and gov policy could help move it faster!

  30. Almost all jobs will be replacable, this host too. When the wealthy don't need the poor anymore they can let them die and let robots work for them.

  31. It resonates with one of podcast episodes from "Planet Money" where a listener asked why Government can't print more money to pay for things. Everyone immediately jumped and sad it will raise an inflation (more money > Higher prices > need more money), but an economist sad it is not that simple. Imaging that the supply does not depends on demand, basically we can supply any demand, that means that we can print as much money as we want to buy as much as we want, because supply is not a problem. Eventually we won't need money at all. I find it fascinating and especially relevant to this video. THanks for that.

  32. Fantastic video! Right here at Y&S FOOD! we all love to uncover these types of content. We make Travel & Food shows as well, all over the world, and we are continually hoping to find inspirations and so ideas. Thank You.

  33. Hilarious, the only people that automation will enrich are owners and shareholders of said companies. You can make more money with less investment … great for them, bad for you. Having less and less jobs to perform and lower and lower wages because of the desperation factor

  34. Low marginal cost and high investment cost create monopolistic competition, it's 101 economic. In a capitalism system that mean concentration of power and wealth. It's not only a problem of not having job, but most peoples are going to have no power, even collectively, and yet we are pretending we are in a democracy. In my opinion the capitalism system as we know it can't survive information's automation, we will need substantial adjustment.

  35. 2:48
    This would be amazing, but I would be amazed if we lived to see it within our lifetimes. It would require the rich to effectively give up on the advantage that they have established for themselves.

  36. The software will NOT EAT THE WORLD it will simply change it.When the most jobs will be replaced by automated machines they will be new jobs that we maybe not even thinking right now and that because economy doesn't work if the half population doesnt have a job , when this happend the jobs will adapt because if they dont the economy will collapse and that does not profite noone

  37. Dang, I was enjoy your channel until you started dropping the communist/socialism talking points. Sad. Progressive taxation and universal health care… Hmmm

  38. Seriously? Just wait until the robot at McDonald's starts burning the burgers : -) The topics of the Verge seem to have changed dramatically from 2012. I was hoping to find some newer videos as to the End Game of TPTB. I guess I won't find that here.

  39. This is the reason why immigration should be drastically reduced to smooth transition into robotic revolution. Sadly rich and the powerful won't do it because that doesn't fit into their world view.

  40. So basically, Pessimists are the Working Class, and the Optimists are the Wealthy Class and Business Class… Okey

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