A Working Future - Carla Paredes in the Cab, 2027

In A Working Future: Telling Lies to Get at the Truth about Work I explained that I decided to approach the work more like a collection of science fiction stories, using personas and vignettes to explore the unfolding changes to the world, and how work fits into that.

This is the first pass at such a vignette.

Outline - Carla Paredes in the Cab, 2027

  1. it’s 2028.

  2. protagonist is a woman – Carla Paredes – 27, ‘grouped’ line marriage, certificates in various AR classifications, like drone pilot, school backup, hotel front

  3. considered college but in 2021 took aptitude test and was offered drone pilot training, and she worked for a few years driving trucks and delivery vehicles remotely until modern delivery systems were perfected – highways, doors, warehouses, etc. – and people weren’t needed

  4. worked as school backup but lacks education to do more than herd kids around

  5. worked as hotel ‘front’ – the front desk, concierge, and bell desk, but those jobs were trimmed as travelers grew used to less personnel in hotels and relied on AI-based services.

  6. considered working as a sex 'surrogate’ – inhabiting a sex 'bot – and passed the aptitude test, but took a social AR editor job (see 11), and now being retrained as remote home care admin.

  7. en route in a driverless car

  8. heading to a retraining day

  9. her day is mediated by personal and professional ai

  10. the retraining is a month-long experience negotiated by a worker’s council, a government labor agency, and her former workplace

  11. she had been working as contracted editor filtering fakery on a social AR service. Her actual employer is a work platform partly owned by her workers’ council and otherwise funded by the government’s Right to Work bill of 2021 and administered by the state of New York.

  12. The emergence of workers’ councils after the job riots of 2023

  13. She’s now being retrained with new AIs as a remote home care administrator a la CareHome

In Who Owns Work, and Its Future? I touched on how the world of work is a wicked problem, because everything is connected together, in an inconceivably snarled multi-dimensional fashion. This is one thread in a tangled skein.

Things to consider as I build out this vignette — who are the other people she sees, touches, contends with?

  • I’d like to have her recall discussions with those involved at the workers’ council who helped(?)/hindered(?) her retraining.

  • What about passing the aptitude test for sexbot job?

  • Something more about the grouped marriage — which I envision as a Gen Z response to economic disruption. Groups own things in common, rent a large house or collection of small apartments plus common area, relaxed attitude to sex pairings, group child rearing?

  • Other family?

  • Detailed interaction with AI in the cab.

  • More on the job riots of 2023, part of the ‘Human Spring’ uprising (see What Will A Corporation Look Like In 2050?).