Originally posted on The Horizons Tracker.
The future is notoriously unpredictable, and this inherent unpredictability can limit our ability to make the choices and actions that can help us to prepare ourselves for whatever the future may have in store.
A new game developed by the Max Planck Institute for Human Development aims to help people to prepare for the future of work, where technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics will, the researchers believe, be increasingly capable of performing many of the tasks currently performed by humans.
“The Automated Life” allows players to see how they might survive in a world so disrupted by automation. The game aims to prompt players to ponder what kind of knowledge and skills might be required in the future, along with what jobs may emerge and vanish.
Navigating the future
Players begin the game with one of a number of jobs that are heavily threatened by automation. They then have the option to try to save up for additional training and can apply for new jobs that then open up a range of additional options for them, including new careers and further training options.
All the while this is going on, technology continues its relentless advance and jobs are automated. The players have to keep a constant eye not only on their bank balance but also on the number of years before they hope to retire so that they can make the smartest choices possible and enjoy a comfortable retirement.
“We’re seeing time and again how the accelerating pace of automation is causing people a lot of stress and generating a sense of fear about the future. Our aim was to capture this in a game and show how people in low-paid jobs experience automation,” the developers say.
The team has form for developing such games, with a previous effort, called MyGoodness aiming to help players understand about altruism and charity. Similarly, BeeMe was an immersive social game played during Halloween in 2018, with the crowd controlling a real human being as they embarked on an adventure.
The Automated Life will also generate a lot of anonymous data for the researchers to analyze to help them with further research in terms of understanding how people might respond to the changes we’re seeing in the labor market today.
“Automation in the world of work is an issue that affects us all in some way and confronts society with significant challenges. That’s why research is needed that explores the problems and identifies potential solutions,” they conclude.
Check out the video below to learn more about the game or click the link at the top of the article to dive right in.