Sunday, 25 August 2013

Robots will take over the world!

Give it 10 years and your breakfast will be waiting for you by the time you get downstairs. Your car will drive you to work and your cleaning lady will have found herself a new career.

There is a revolution coming and its name is robotics! We all know robots have been used on construction lines for years and years and we all know that a lot of people lost their jobs for it. It's only going to get worse. Whether it is Google's self driving cars or the creepy nurse's assistant, robots are increasingly able to work alongside humans. To interact with them directly and safely and this is really the key point.

Robots have always been able to do repetitive tasks but with the revolution in safety and the ability to understand their environment, robots have taken on new life and will begin to take on new roles. They are already being used extensively in the military for dangerous tasks such as mine sweeping and recon missions and there are future plans to use robots to repair nuclear facilities in ways that humans cannot without extreme risk. This is good.

There is however a more contentious result of the robotic uprising. As they begin to take over more and more roles that humans once will have filled, many people will be left jobless and without prospects. How can we resolve this? The only barrier I can foresee to this happening is cost effectiveness. But economically speaking, there is no reason for this to impede for long the march into the new reality that robotics will bring.

What sort of society will we live in, when half of us do not and cannot have jobs? There are only so many people who can work on maintaining the robots. Only so many people who can design and build them. What will the rest of us do? How will we survive without a paycheck and how will we stay sane without a job?

There are certain people who have foreseen this. Namely Jacque Fresco. In this video he talks about how humans will be displaced by robots and how they already are being displaced by robots (self-checkout anyone?). He also talks about what humans will be able to do in the future. How we will spend our time, how we will survive and how our quality of life will improve dramatically. If you enjoy your job (there are few enough of us that do) then there is no reason for you not to continue. Let's say you are a lumberjack and you absolutely love it. There is nothing in the world you would rather do! But there are all these robots who do the job faster than you! What are you going to do? Well... since you probably will be out of a job, like almost everybody, there is no reason you cannot continue to just chop trees down. You won't earn a wage from it but that won't matter. The move to a nanny state will become far more pronounced in the future as the money system collapses under the weight of robotics. (Nobody has any jobs -> nobody has any money -> nobody buys anything -> money itself is abolished under the threat of total and irretrievable economic collapse)

What we are talking about is not a restriction and it is not a loss. It is a massive gain. It is perhaps the greatest gain we have seen since the start of agriculture! We will get our freedom back! No longer strapped to a desk 8 hours a day, we can spend time with the people we love, with the things we love to do!

The future is bright! The future's robotic.

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