Jobs in Ten Years

In order for computers to generate compelling content, they must have a model of what humans find interesting or beautiful.  The only way to get this model is by measuring how interesting humans find particular images.  In the old days this was done by measuring ratings, but it was found much more effective to measure cortical response to images directly.  This can be done so quickly that it can take place even before conscious awareness takes place.  The Interest workers spend (a government mandated no more than) eight hours a day wearing a skullcap, watching movies that look something like Koyaanisqatsi sped up by 50 times.

Prediction markets are now big business, attracting both individuals and corporate algorithmic models. An intrader pursues up-to-the-millisecond news (largely through harvesting social networking updates) about a particular topic of interest, whether it be sports, celebrity babies, local politics, or box-office returns, and translates that news into what amounts to bets on the likelihood of these events happening.

The advent of brain scans able to recognize mental imagery has led to the ability to record dreams and imagined events.  While a few prefer the unedited content, most of these dreams are heavily edited to provide a semblance of story.  The technique has also influenced more mainstream filmmaking. Professional dreamers sometimes use "lucid dreaming" techniques, but purists prefer dreams directed solely by the subconscious. Being a professional dreamer is a lot like being a professional artist; very few make any money at it, but for some it is a calling. Ability to form mental imagery varies widely; 15% of the population are found to generate no mental images of any kind. It has surprisingly little effect on everyday abilities.

Do you have any other suggestions?


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