Imagine you get paid for views and likes.
This may sound like a science-fiction fantasy, but it could be a potential reality. Rather than rely on influencers and big corporations, everyone is given a chance to earn money from viewing and liking others’ posts and videos. People can have their own personal intranet to earn money without physical work or intensive thinking.
The foundation for such a reality is already in the works in our current digital times.
The Rise of the Influencer Industry
The explosion of the influencer industry comes from the fields of social media, data science, and internet technology. When you scroll through social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, you may have noticed that influencers have taken over with posts, pictures, and vlogs of their daily lives, travels, collaborations, product endorsements, and so on. Many of them have become famous for some being featured in major news shows and celebrity gossip websites.
Influencers have had a major impact on advertising and marketing. In a study of 5,000 influencers, about 42% said they charged $200 to $400 per post from companies — just to give you an idea of what other businesses are able to pay willing influencers. If this type of pay can be transferred over to all, then we can see many people’s monetary worth increase.
People are flocking online for more pictures and videos. This isn’t an overload of information. This is a way of how we consume everyday. Without a doubt, worldwide usage of social media is one of the most popular online activities that people take part in. Social media statistics from 2019 show that there are 3.5 billion users of social media worldwide, and this number is growing. This is equivalent to about 45% of the current global population. People spend the most time on Facebook at 58 minutes, followed by Instagram (53 minutes), TikTok (52 minutes), and Snapchat (49.5 minutes).
People spend an average of 3 hours on social networks and texting daily. Mobile app opportunities are constantly increasing which makes access to social media easier by the day, no matter where you are. Many social networking networks are now available as smartphone applications, or designed for smartphone browsing, making it easier for users to reach their favorite pages while they’re on the go.
This industry would not have been conceivable even ten years ago. We now live in a time where people can make money from sponsored ads and videos with little effort except to promote to their fans and followers. With just a few hundred followers ideally, regular posts, great engagement with followers, and a unique style (and a stroke of luck), anyone can become an influencer. Possibly, this could lead to a way for people to monetize their views and likes from a much more grim reality – the reality of losing their jobs to AI.
AI is Everywhere
The need for people to be paid from views and likes comes from a real concern that many people would lose their jobs due to AI and automation. Many people who don’t have the skills and adaptability can earn easily. The more we depend on science and technology, the less we rely on redundant positions that no longer exist (Remember stenographers? We don’t either).
Roles like “social media manager” and “data scientist” were not invented decades earlier, much less desired. It is estimated that 10% of employment is in these emerging occupations, which amounts to about 160 million workers worldwide. These types of roles continue to grow in demand as more companies move digitally and need to attract more customers who already spend so much time online.
Technology is evolving at a rate that human history has never seen before. Those who create it don’t completely understand why or how it functions. Recent developments in machine learning show that computers can learn tasks much faster than people thought possible just a year ago under certain directives. We are going to this new world with no idea how we will govern it and a regulatory system built to be much less complex than what we face in the short term.
From Wall street to your local retail store, AI, automation, and technology would have millions of jobs displaced. Investment banks, law firms, and accounting companies, hospitals, and businesses use AI to displace workers employed in rote operations and white-collar jobs at the lower end. If AI can replace your work, you will need a new career.
Companies are usually willing to implement cost-cutting technologies as they lay off staff. Approximately 36 million Americans hold “high exposure” jobs to automation— suggesting that computers using current technologies will soon perform at least 70% of their tasks. Cooks, waiters and those in food services are among those most likely to be affected; short-haul truck drivers; and clerical staff can be made redundant because of AI. Automation is likely to happen more rapidly in the wake of the next economic downturn.
According to an IBM report, over 120 million employees worldwide will need retraining in the next three years because of artificial intelligence’s effect on employment. The number of people to be affected is enormous. The most developed cities in the world aren’t equipped for artificial intelligence disruption. It is estimated that because of the AI-related rollout, over 50 million Chinese employees may need retraining. In America, the U.S. would be expected to retrain11.5 million people with skills needed to succeed in the modern workplace. Millions of workers in Brazil, Japan and Germany would need help with the AI, robotics and related technology shifts. An Oxford report showed the number of robots in use worldwide tripled to 2.25 million over the past two decades. We will lose tens of millions of jobs because of robotization, particularly in poorer local economies which rely on less skilled workers. Perhaps this would turn into a rise in income inequality.
If robot installations were improved to 30% higher than the 2030 baseline projection, researchers predicted that that year would cause a 5.3% rise in global GDP. This means adding a $4.9 trillion per annum to the global economy by 2030 (in today’s prices) — equivalent to an economy larger than Germany’s projected scale. McKinsey’s report also estimates that AI will contribute an additional 1.2% to gross domestic product (GDP) growth over the next decade and help capture about 20-25% of net economic benefits (globally equal to $13 trillion) over the next 12 years.
The future of a personal intranet
The statistics may scare you, but they are still way off in the future. In a December 2018 survey conducted by Dun & Bradstreet on the AI World Conference and Expo, 40% of respondents ‘ organizations add more jobs because of AI being used within their company and only 8% cut jobs because of AI. Many other jobs can come from AI and automation such as data scientist and SEO manager.
The class of workers impacted by automation may be rising in the future as robots become smarter. The Brookings report analyzed the automation potential of each occupation based on research by the McKinsey management consulting firm. Those jobs that remain largely unscathed will be those that require not only advanced education, but also interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence. These high-paying jobs require a great deal of creativity and problem-solving. It’s going to be difficult for new technologies to replace. When employers say they face a skills shortfall, the first thing that comes to mind is coding experience or another advanced technical skill set. Yet currently, employers are asking for a changes over the last few years, survey states, to concentrate on soft skills like communication, ethics and innovation. Behavioral competencies are also considered as critical to digital and technological competences.
We should not prohibit technological progress, but progress should be regulated and evaluated to ensure that there is no point of return for many people to lose their jobs to technology. This will entail government-private industry collaboration to ensure that technology advancement will enhance our lives without damaging them.
The future of work may turn into a world in which many jobs would go into AI and people rely on likes and views for money. We see the nascent signs of such a reality with the way social media and AI has evolved over time. While some may win, others may lose, especially those from underdeveloped areas of the world, if they don’t catch up with rapidly changing technology and crucial technical skills to adapt to a new kind of future.
Companies and people strive to incorporate social media in daily life. Whether it’s an influencer marketing to followers or story advertising, they’re working on everything. Social media allows brands and people to access inexpensive content, connect with their customers, and create brand loyalty. But the exact influence of social media is difficult to calculate, as every social media site measures activity differently and technology shifts all the time.
We have many questions to answer if we were all getting a personal intranet: Is this a new reality in which we must depend on others’ approval of our image and self-worth for money? What does this mean for the future of humanity as we move towards an uncertain future? We know we can build a positive relationship with technology, and we are better connected than ever in human history. We can mobilize easily and we can put each other down with two clicks. You must be the judge of which we move forward in the day of capitalism and uncertainty. Knowing these statistics can influence the way we think about technology and how much we can connect and disconnect from each other.