Rob Nail and Lt. Gov of California Gavin Newsom Discuss the Future of Jobs


Rob Nail, CEO of Singularity University and Lt. Governor of California Gavin Newsom discuss the importance of education in dealing with the disruptive effects of automation and machine learning on the labor force.

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Rob Nail
About The Speaker

Rob is the CEO and Associate founder of Singularity University. He brings a unique entrepreneurial and impact focused approach to growing a non-traditional university as a model for the future and a forum to catalyze a global ecosystem that leverages exponential technologies to help solve humanity’s grand challenges. Prior to Singularity, he co-founded Velocity11 in 1999, building automation equipment and robotics for cancer research and drug discovery. After being acquired by Agilent Technologies in 2007, he traded the CEO role for a General Manager role attempting to be a catalyst for change at a big company. He gave up in 2009 to go surfing and eventually find his true calling and biggest challenge yet with Singularity University. He is also a co-founder of Alite Designs, is an active angel investor and advisor and holds degrees in Mechanical, Materials Science and Manufacturing Engineering with a focus on design and robotics from UC Davis and Stanford University.



  • John

    Gov. Newsom wants more education to compete with robots on the job market. I’m guessing Rob wasn’t allowed to talk about the fact that very soon there will just not be enough jobs, and people will be unemployed through no fault of their own.

  • Glitch

    There will be no jobs, and while this should result in a utopian existence in which all people are able to live like kings with out the need for labor, two limits will stand in our way. However, only one of these limits is fundamental. The first limit, is thermodynamics. There is only a finite amount of gibs free energy available to do useful work. We can not continue to increase energy consumption indefinitely with out inhibiting our future ability to use energy for useful work. Even if we are able to master nuclear fusion, the most we can ever do is become as hot as the sun, and with out a reliable heat sink, no thermodynamic process can be utilized to do useful work. This is a fundamental limit on the growth of energy use on a finite planet. The exponential growth in energy consumption is being economically fuelled by our production based economy. The system of debt and constant %4 inflation discourages savings and encourages consumption. Therefore, the consumption of energy is being exponentially accelerated. This brings us to the second limit, our economy. The capitalist system is in no way capable of preparing for the singularity on its own. While the private sector is amazingly efficient and motivating production, it is disgustingly inefficient at motivating savings and consumer efficiency. Therefore, it must be complimented by a public sector that is more efficient at creating a rental based public sector that creates positive externalities which can be used in the absence of private sector opportunities. Over a time period which will prove to be shorter than most people expect, these positive externalities will be capable of providing more utility to the members of the public than they could possibly find in there own privacy. Eventually, the need for a private sector will diminish in parallel with the need for jobs, and the public will be prepared to accept the gifts that the singularity can offer. We can put jobs and the draconian aspects of competition behind us, by forming a symbiotic relationship with our own technology, and transcending the limits of reality.
    Transcend Evolution.