This post was published in Forbes.
This question depends on what our intentions of space travel are.
If we assume that most jobs on earth will become automated in the future and AI reaches a point where it views the human race as a resource-drainer, then space travel may become a colonisation activity as opposed to pure exploration.
Space will be our way of surviving. So naturally, humans will have to travel space.
While away for New Year’s with two friends working in the VC industry, a short car ride through the flat Palm Springs led to deep discussion about what the future looks like.
I always assumed that VCs agreed on this. They’re investing in roughly the same industries, right?
The reality was two people in the same line of work but two very different views on the world of tomorrow.
Robots force us into space
One thing we did agree on was the rise of AI, machine learning, robotics and automation technology leading to a future that looks increasingly jobless for the majority of the world’s population.
It’s been known for a while. Four years ago, Carl Benedikt Frey & Michael Osborne of Oxford University estimated that 47% of total U.S. employment is at risk from “computerisation.”
Given the current rate of advancement in these technologies, that number could well be higher. With the global population expected to hit 9 billion in the next 50 years, there’s going to be a lot of people resource consuming people with a lot of free time.
That’s a lot of people to help us colonize other planets.