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What is the meaning of work? | Roy Bahat and Bryn Freedman

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Roy Bahat was worried. His company invests in new technology like AI to make businesses more efficient — but, he wondered, what was AI doing to the people whose jobs might change, go away or become less fulfilling? The question sent him on a two-year research odyssey to discover what motivates people, and why we work. In this conversation with curator Bryn Freedman, he shares what he learned, including some surprising insights that will shape the conversation about the future of our jobs.

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32 Comments on What is the meaning of work? | Roy Bahat and Bryn Freedman

  1. The Hope Foundation Charity // 7th March 2019 at 4:23 pm // Reply


  2. Mindprovement // 7th March 2019 at 4:24 pm // Reply

    Our work is what defines us… It should be our purpose and what we truly love..

    • That is absolutely depressing , being defined by your work. We are what our parents grow us to be , and most parents aint doing a proper “work”. Life has no meaning and stop pretending it does..

    • Yes, I like workers like you.

    • Josée Marchand // 7th March 2019 at 5:40 pm // Reply

      Good for you if it is your life purpose but it isn’t mine, so you can’t talk for everybody.

    • I can understand your opinion. But I personally can’t agree work ‘should’ be our purpose because that purpose is already defined, ultimately saying it’s simply to earn money to live. That’s why it’s called ‘work’. If we can live satisfactorily without work, I mean if there’s no worry about anything related to money, I’m sure most of people quit working and start to spend time on what they really want to do regardless if they’re able to earn money. As for the remains those who still work, you know someone truely loves to do something which is even regarded as work by others, that something isn’t work for him essentially.

  3. Linda Fasching // 7th March 2019 at 4:25 pm // Reply

    It’s a 4 letter word ?

  4. H Hyderabad // 7th March 2019 at 4:28 pm // Reply

    1 view ,32 likes
    Kidding me?

  5. It’s more likely that people without work will no longer have money to purchase any of their goods. I’m sure these CEOs will realize that and money will pretty much become worthless, which results in everything being free as there will be a surplus and excess stuff. Money stops cycling. We would be freed from work and more time to just enjoy life instead unless we haven’t solved problems with resources yet.

  6. You want to get rid of Automation? Automate CEO positions and the US presidency, then see how passionate they are about automation.

  7. Your Favorite Lifecoach // 7th March 2019 at 4:33 pm // Reply

    Work is supposed to the proces of finding your purpose. Shame so many hate such a big part of their life…

    • That’s why I bought a wheel for my hamster, so the poor little guy thinks he will find his purpose.

    • There are only a privileged few who find the overlap of passion, talent, service, and employment. I have three, but my job (work) is not my passion. But at least I’m good at it, society needs it, and I can be paid for it.

    • mindlesstube // 7th March 2019 at 5:51 pm // Reply

      Work is doing your part to allow us all to live a good life. Are you not glad you dont have to hunt for your own food, or have to make your own fresh water or sewage system or build your own house, we all work together we all play a part, that is work.

    • MisterCynic18 // 7th March 2019 at 6:32 pm // Reply

      +mindlesstube I suspect such things would actually be more fulfilling, if exceedingly more difficult.

    • +mindlesstube I guess the reason why such a lot of people hate work included me is the system of society or culture is too much developed and became complex so we can’t find ourselves a part of the something that we all are tacking for the world(?). People doing particular jobs that it lets them deal with a pretty big thing or relate with others directly and be thanked by others could have more chances to find happiness in work.

  8. you’re talking to an investor hehe

  9. If they are automating the lion’s share of our jobs, then why are we still allowing immigrants to come into the United States… We have no jobs for them around the corner. Democrats are corrupt and evil!

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  10. Nolan Moser // 7th March 2019 at 4:48 pm // Reply

    Sounds like a left wing argument against capitalism by a capitalist who want to create a new technology so he can be the only capitalist.

    • Right back at you. Tells you how well the current system is built for the future. Unless you think everyone is ok with everything staying the same. Also this is not a left or right wing issue. I am sure you could have found that out by watching the video. The top right wing donator, who owns Walmart, is investing in it. Keep being and seeing your world divided by politics and you will always be on the wrong side of change. Or maybe you could see that robots don’t become divisive like you by giving us your brain data. Haha

  11. Work = FDcos(Ø)

  12. Thomas Angeland // 7th March 2019 at 5:04 pm // Reply

    I can’t help but feel sorry for all the people who get frustrated over AIs taking more and more jobs. If an AI can do it, it means it’s a closed problem that is solvable within the same parameters every time. I get that some people feel that the work they do is meaningful, and IT IS if it’s meaningful to you, but why isn’t any of us screaming for a typical early 1900-hundreds factory worker job when we grew up? Every technology advancement has led us to being able to select more comfortable jobs, and I don’t see whats wrong with that.

    On the other side, I do see the real problem here (which is also mentioned in the video). People that are in the risk of loosing their jobs just want stability. What is really the issue here is that the rise of AI should not negatively affect people on social and economic stability. There must be a transition-strategy established.

    I hope we at some point drop the “you must work to survive, no matter if you enjoy it or not” and let the machines take over. Then every person of such a society can wake up everyday knowing that they can do whatever they want. And if they ever want to do something else, they can, without social and economical conflicts.

  13. Literally just an idea (not looking to be right or wrong) but I think it would be great if A.I would have the capability to “take over” every job, however give the people (who genuinely love and want to do a specific job) the choice to turn off the A.I when they want to do the work. I think another form of government besides capitalism would have to substitute in order for everyone in society to be given the ability to live. However, I think this will also give a larger majority of people a relief in regards to not having to be forced to work for money, forced to be away from family, or even being forced to live a predetermined aspect of life in working (particularly for young people). I know that this could be considered laziness, but whose to say what people *should* do with their lives? Overall, I know I could sound so naive, but I really hope this could shift the way society functions in giving people actual freedom in living life on *their* terms (improving the individualistic quality of life while maintaining a communal sense through working together in obvious differences, problems, etc. )

  14. I think the best thing about automation is the fact that dangerous jobs and menial jobs will be a thing of the past, leaving us open to explore creative jobs as a way of funding ourselves. Automation could also solve a lot of the worlds problems, like poverty. Perhaps prices could get so low for everyday things that a universal income could be practical. Then, you’d work and receive extra money on top for doing jobs that you’re passionate about and that brings the human race forward, rather than slaving away in a factory to buy bread and toothpaste. Who knows, it could go the other way too, but this is what I hope for. One thing is for certain, it’s going to happen!

  15. The Grey Pawn // 7th March 2019 at 6:48 pm // Reply

    Andrew Yang 2020!

  16. Zabel Zarock // 7th March 2019 at 6:55 pm // Reply

    You exchange life-time for money.

  17. mike roffel // 7th March 2019 at 7:04 pm // Reply

    it has no meaning you just do it to pay the bills and food and hoop you urn a little bit more money so you can have a hobby and se somting of the world noting more it hase no meaning

  18. Sina Madani // 7th March 2019 at 8:36 pm // Reply

    I think the fundamental problem is growing inequality. The owners of technology and capital reap all the benefits as labour becomes less in demand and less productive, yet the world population is larger than ever. This is why unregulated capitalism without any redistribution of wealth cannot work in the long run, unless we want a very small population. Nobody needs tens of billions of dollars, those amounts of money are meaningless yet so many millionaires work so hard to avoid being taxed, even though they have more money than they know what to do with and can’t possibly spend it and will likely never need any more of it.

  19. I think “hand made” will always be around. It just has a more personal touch. I think it’s good that all those “boring jobs” (in the office) are ok to be going extinct. Change my mind. 🙂

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