AI won’t steal your job, just make it meaningless

How technology robs our work of value

For better or for worse, many of us derive our meaning and identity through our work. The threat of AI and robots replacing human jobs, creating mass unemployment and a collective crisis of identity has been greatly exaggerated. Humans and technology continue to work side-by-side, but technology is increasingly intruding in aspects of our jobs that give us some purpose and satisfaction. The problem isn’t that new technologies will steal our jobs, it’s that they will render our jobs devoid of meaning, argues John Danaher.


New technologies are often said to be in danger of making humans redundant, replacing them with robots and AI, and making work disappear altogether. A crisis of identity and purpose might result from that, but Silicon Valley tycoons assure us that a universal basic income could at least take care of people’s material needs, leaving them with plenty of leisure time in which to forge new identities and find new sources of purpose.

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