March 31, 2014
ONLY FOLKS WHO DON'T DO ANY...:
Rise of the robots :Prepare for a robot invasion. It will change the way people think about technology (The Economist, Mar 29th 2014)
As consumers and citizens, people will benefit greatly from the rise of the robots. Whether they will as workers is less clear, for the robots' growing competence may make some human labour redundant. Aetheon's Tugs, for instance, which take hospital trolleys where they are needed, are ready to take over much of the work that porters do today. Kiva's warehouse robots make it possible for Amazon to send out more parcels with fewer workers. Driverless cars could displace the millions of people employed behind the wheel today. Just as employment in agriculture, which used to provide almost all the jobs in the pre-modern era, now accounts for only 2% of rich-world employment so jobs in today's manufacturing and services industries may be forced to retreat before the march of the robots. Whether humanity will find new ways of using its labour, or the future will be given over to forced leisure, is a matter of much worried debate among economists. Either way, robots will probably get the credit or blame.Robotic prowess will to some extent be taken for granted. It will be in the nature of cars to drive themselves, of floors to be clean and of supplies to move around hospitals and offices; the robotic underpinning of such things will be invisible.
..can imagine that having a machine do your work is a mixed blessing.
Posted by Orrin Judd at March 31, 2014 3:41 PM