3.12.2004

 

Robots taking jobs


This quote got so many comments, let me post it again by itself. It comes from Robotic Nation:It is something to think about...

Comments:
I think continuing advancement in AI - most notably in robotics - is a bad thing for our society. Not only does it support rich corporate greed towards maximizing profits, it also ultimately "fucks" the people at the bottom of the ladder - the people that work their ass off just to provide an income for their family. Not only will this eliminate the middle class, it will raise poverty, increase the gap between rich and poor, increase crime and discontent, and eliminates thousands if not millions of jobs that people rely on to make ends meet. As a citizen I believe that voters must force the government to force corporations from continuing to advance technology that will ultimately leave us people fucked in the end. Just because we face a labour shortage in Western society from a growing elderly baby boom generation, it shouldnt give corporations the right to use robotics to replace jobs that people rely to make a living. I think corporations are becoming alot greedier. The reason behind my belief is because the generation Y generation is getting paid less for similiar work that the baby boom and generation X generation did in the past. For example should someone today work for minimum wage when their superior did similiar work a generation ago for alot better pay with added benefits? I personally think the generation Y generation is being screwed for what level of pay we are getting with our education compared to the baby boom and generation X generation.
 
Employment ultimately comes from consumer demand and the wants of the populace are endless which is one reason why everybody always has and always will want "better things". When robots gradually replace the lower-skill-set jobs that anyone can do, there'll be demand for other products and services that only humans can largely perform. As these industries expand due to the increasing supply, people will want more products and more services up to the amount the population, including the robotic population, can produce. When we get to the point where robots can nearly do everything that humans can do and the majority of Americans are displaced(Assuming this does happen, which may not due to ever-expanding demand for services), these robots will offer productivity that can support the whole of society many times over and I can nearly guarantee we'll become more of a "welfare state" as "there are just no jobs" and the political heft of the majority will dictate and sympathize with its own 'plight'(Jobless, doing what want and having many things: A fairly boring existence, wouldn't it be?). Now, if robots come to the point where the nearly replace everyone, even the intellectually demanding occupations, then we'll have a robotic subpopulation that'll be at least as smart/productive as humans and with a subpopulation at least as smart as humans, who knows what "they" could do?

Honestly, though, I can guarantee that the computationally/intellectually-demanding jobs that are not out of reach of most humans will be alloted to them for some time as the human brain is the most cost/energy-effective computational substrate, at least in direct comparison with electronic computational substrates(Who knows what other computational substrates will be invented in the future? A hybrid? A uper "brain in a jar"?). With that in mind, the only "threatened jobs" will be the low-skilled "not too computationally intense" jobs that people tend to dislike anyways and the jobs that people just simply can't do or people can't do nearly as good as it could be done, like really advanced theoretical work, strategic-planning, longterm-decision-making,etc.. In other words, humans will, at least for some time, have their own little niche that'd just simply be too expensive for robots to perform.
 
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