Is the Metaverse the answer for displaced workers in the future?


JTechnology and industrial development have seen the displacement of workers for hundreds of years. As process automation and mechanical substitutes begin to offer solutions beyond human capabilities, it is natural for capitalism to choose the cheapest and most efficient way to produce something.

Many of us watched helplessly as this painful lesson was learned with the collapse of the Rust Belt. The elimination of many industrial blue-collar jobs has been devastating to workers, their families, and businesses, which, in turn, has effectively caused a microeconomic collapse with macro impact across North America. We owe it to these workers, their families and to ourselves as a collective to do better this time. And with the level of awareness now much higher regarding the need to guard against worker displacement as well as written literature, hopefully we will make better decisions as a collective moving forward.

Knowing how much pain and devastation has been caused by the loss of these jobs, the government really should be the body that gives thought to this impending issue. While some believe corporations should be responsible for displaced workers, capitalism inherently operates in such a way that it takes no responsibility for those displaced by it. We need better solutions.

AI is the real job killer here, especially considering what it will do in the logistics and delivery job market alone. Companies are actively creating Level 5 autonomous trucks, vans, cars and drones. However, there are more than 3.5 million truckers and 1.3 million delivery drivers in the United States – the displacement of this labor market alone would be of epic magnitude. Also, in this scenario, rather than just being concentrated in one area (as was the case with the Rust Belt), it will be a national epidemic of people losing their jobs, not to mention the impact that will have on the global economy.

Perhaps the hardest truth to accept is that this is just one example of where AI will start taking jobs away from humans at an unprecedented rate. In fact, automation is expected to eliminate 46% of jobs by 2030, meaning the lives of 73 million people are expected to be disrupted. If there is nothing to replace these roles, it will result in a cataclysmic economic, social and global event.

Given the potential severity of such a scenario, we need to look to other growth areas that could respond to a paradigm shift of this magnitude. In order to offset such a massive displacement, we need an industry and a new market that could offer support to all those who find themselves without a job or a career. And the only industry we know of today that will experience such growth is the Metaverse.

Citi predicts that over the next 10 years, the Metaverse could be worth between $8 trillion and $13 trillion, and based on the time scale, it is the only market today that exhibits the level of growth needed to match the level of displacement that automation represents. will be unleashed on the job market. It’s important to start thinking about what potential jobs we imagine might be created for someone in the metaverse, and how we might help them realign there and find opportunities there.

In truth, many creations of new types of jobs are expected to form in the metaverse, and not all of them are technical. Let’s discuss some examples below.

New Jobs in the Metaverse

Storytellers:

This position requires people responsible for both nonfiction and fictional stories that will be created and told in the metaverse. This job involves detailing scenarios as realistically as possible and communicating them to engineers, so they can create experiences that replicate the real world. You may think this is a purely technical role, but storytellers are still people who have had certain factual experiences and who will work with teams to pull out the details of a storyline while documenting it in detail. a way that also allows the storyteller to speak, write and describe with conviction.

Which brings me to the question: where will these stories come from? I think this is a major job opportunity, especially considering how many things could be imagined in the metaverse – it’s endless with endless opportunities.

Sensory builder:

There will be worker roles that set up lights, cameras, and whatever else is necessary to make the metaverse feel as real as possible. This is a large-scale hardware installation that will require regular upgrades, maintenance, and repairs. Undoubtedly, this whole area will be a complete economy in itself and is one that people could easily transcend into many industries with applicable transferable skills.

Meta sales:

A whole new world of sales opportunities, partnerships, and deals will be created and will be a big part of the anticipated $13 trillion new market in the Metaverse. This will lead to a great need for account managers, customer service and other roles, which arguably could be provided by AI, but with such a large part of a person’s life in a virtual world, potentially the idea that humans still hold that workload. and the interface may be more appropriate (at least initially).

Metaverse Tour Guide:

Yes, you read correctly. And before you say, AI could do that, when yes, they could – a human behind an avatar offering a tour of the metaverse? Well, that’s just cool. This is definitely something that will happen and it will be a role that people can scale in volume, especially given the level of experiences in the virtual world that is being created as well as the endless possibilities that it offers.

Summary:

We cannot expect those who will be displaced to wake up tomorrow and suddenly have all the skills necessary to facilitate the above job roles and more. However, we are entering brand new territory, the 21st century version of a newly discovered, albeit virtual, land. The next generation education system also lags far behind in training the future workforce. We will enter a period of ultimate skills deficit, where a person’s cognitive ability to learn something new will be the true measure of their success.

We need to invest in retaining and supporting the displaced workforce as soon as possible, to prepare the jobs of tomorrow and avoid repeating the devastating mistakes of the past. Technology can be our greatest friend when it comes to progress, or our greatest enemy, it just depends on our sensitivity. Let’s not let short-term profits trump the need to think long-term while protecting workers’ livelihoods. And let’s start living in a way in North America that’s better than quarter by quarter.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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