6.10.2005

 

Robot pitchers taking to the field

Robot to throw out first pitch at Pirates-Orioles game tonight

From the article:See also Managing a baseball team with a robot. It would appear that the entire baseball team will be unnecessary in just a decade or so. See also Robots taking jobs.

Comments:
I like Robotics-Night PR events. They increase interest in technical fields, and move us closer to the path of valuing the education needed to avoid obsolescence (the real way to avoid mass unemployment).

But I don't like people calling this the first "robotic pitcher". There have been pitching machines for decades. You could beef them up into baseball cannons, and break the bat of anyone who tries to hit it. No competition.

But to stress the more important point: robots don’t replace important jobs. They replace jobs that should no longer be done by humans. Why the great lamentation? If you don’t have enough confidence in human ingenuity to have faith that there will not be mass unemployment, then robots won’t be our biggest problem. Masses of useless people would be our biggest problem.

That is really what always annoyed me about the Robotic Nation. Somehow, human labor becomes useless. We just aren’t smart enough to compete with the robots. But then you bend over backwards describing the ways people are freed and give value to society in the stipend/commune. It is a bit of a contradiction to say that people, when financially provided for, will make meaningful contributions to society, but otherwise are unable to provide useful services with their labor. Their creative contributions are what currently, and will always, give their labor value.
 
Robotic Nation is a paradigm shift that tries to go beyond the decades old dichotomy between "liberal" socialism and "conservative" free-markets. Adhering to any of these ideologies will prevent us from realizing robotopia. Its not that we aren't smart enough as individuals to adapt, its that as a group it takes us much longer. Unfortunately, the rapid pace of technological change does not afford us the luxury of our self-indulgant mental stagnation. Robotic Nation uses fear to stimulate mental change, because its the only thing that can on any useful time scale.
 
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