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The Future of Work and Death

HD   NR Closed Captioning

Sean Blacknell & Wayne Walsh

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About the Movie

In this provocative documentary, worldwide experts in the fields of futurology, anthropology, neuroscience and philosophy consider the impact of technological advances on the two certainties of human life: work and death. Charting human developments from early man, past the Industrial Revolution, to the digital age and beyond, THE FUTURE OF WORK AND DEATH looks at the astonishing exponential rate at which mankind creates technologies to ease the process of living. As we embark on the next phase of our 'advancement' with automation and artificial intelligence driving the transformation from man to machine, the film gives a shockingly realistic look into the future of human life.

Customer Reviews

Fascinating! Highly recommended.

There is a quote early in the documentary about how most people do not realize how fast or broad the coming changes will be actualized. In my opinion this can not be overstated. Even as someone who keeps themselves reasonably informed on developments in deep learning, AI, robotics, longevity research, etc. this film presented many new ideas and fresh takes on concepts I was familiar with. The film has excellence cadence and energy throughout. The take away is that society needs to begin seriously discussing these things now in very real terms or our current sociopolitical structures will be unable to cope. Highly recommend!

Enjoyable Documentary

For anyone getting their feet wet with transhumanism, this is a good intro to the subject and philosophical primer. It's structured in two parts: the first half discusses robots and how automation will impact work. The second half is about the anti-aging movement.

Great for school and college classrooms, my biggest criticism is the film lacks skeptics. It does a good job summarizing the exponential growth of technology, but avoids many nuances of genetics, nanotechnology, and robots(AI) because they are complicated sciences. These subjects could have documentaries of their own.

The perspective is that radically world changing progress is right around the corner. Examining exisiting technologies, it surveys what this change might look like. Anyone piqued by the subject may want to pursue other material to learn more about these areas and the transhumanist movement.

All-in-all The Future of Work and Death is a great ride full of information guaranteed to get you thinking ahead.

The future of work and death review

“The Future of Work and Death” is very informative and relative. I really enjoyed the documentary. I would rate it 9.3/10. Being a transhumanism enthusiasts myself, this is right up my alley, and I can say this is the definitive documentary at the moment exploring the subject.
The documentary does a great job building the conceptual foundations to understand the dilemma of automation in a deeply accessible, and easy to understand manner.The polished editing and seamless transition of speakers chiming in on each topic is fluid, and it feels so cohesive that it is almost like the speakers were filmed in a group discussion that they were all present for, and the panel was a balanced juxtaposition of techno-optimists and techno-cynics.
The unconventional approach of analyzing the implications of intelligent machines on the labor force and human biological functioning, as well as the unique wording and relevant historical comparisons, give the documentary a signature retro-futuristic feel. I especially enjoyed th nostalgic synth lines in the background that created an ominous atmosphere, effectively evoking a looming, metallic feel as if the viewer was directly being oppressed by the crushing intellect of a hypervisory AI.
My one critique, which I will get out of the way, is in the very first portion of the movie. The discussion on the topic of the drudgery of repetitious human work felt tedious. However, what I came to realize in reflecting on the film, is that it merely was effectively evoking the emotions I associate with some of my own life experiences on work, and imagining pumping out another 30 years of assignments or the prospect of having full control over my time and resources. Ultimately, it was a powerful tool for becoming aware my attitudes toward modern employment systems, and overall their inherit meaninglessness.
Gray Scott makes a great point about the transformation of factory automation, in the steady substitution of human directed tasks towards machine directed assembly and labor. I think the blending of AI with human workers is a theme that is consistent in all industries, from phone operators, to secretarial work, from health care to construction and hard labor. Its as if humans are passing the jobs off, and giving the robots “ hands-on training”. We are also learning from the machines through our interactions with them.
The film does a great job making the normally abstract results of automation feel more concrete for the viewer. Current estimates of a third of human jobs being replaced by automation by the year 2025 will make the effects of the robotics revolution a tangible consequence that all of society will be economically subject to. However, as pointed out by several speakers in the movie, the lose of jobs in the target industries of automation will coincide with the creation of jobs in other fields. However there are some researchers that aren’t as optimistic about the migration of lost jobs, such as Martin Ford, who suspects that machines will replace humans in nearly all industries more or less in one swoop.
Personally I like to think that humans will hang onto jobs that they truly enjoy, and will assign the robots to labor based on what Prof. Murray Shanahan calls in the film the 3-D’s, which is work that is “ dirty, dangerous, or dull”. Dr. Stuart Armstrong warns though that the threat that AI poses is beyond the economic or ethical concerns raised, and that its biggest risk to humanity is Lethal indifference, which is essentially goal misspecification. While Zoltan Istvan summarizes the essence of transhumanism in terms of radical life extension.
Overall I highly recommend viewing this if you are interested in the field of futurism, automation, transhumanism, AI or the singularity. I watched it multiple times to grasp all of the information presented, because it is such a dense overview of the drastic transformation humanity will inevitably undertake with the exponential progression of automation.

The Future of Work and Death
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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2017

Customer Ratings