The bots are coming after your job, research indicates. Long before philosophers and futurist lived, it has been known that one day the bots will take over our jobs.
One thing that we will continue to debate over in the years to come is whether we should expect our future to look like that in the movie The Terminator”. No one wants to envision self-aware bots on the prowl hunting us down. The future might also resemble what is shown in The Jettisons where robots handle almost everything else leaving humans with nearly nothing to do.
A possible future is that in Wall-E in which we all become fat to the extent we cannot stand. Some people are also busy seated and staring at huge screens with very little time for each other. People become so busy with technology that they don t realize that the machines have won.
Our workplaces are changing rapidly
Stuart Russell, a computer scientist at University of California and adjunct professor of neurology states that in life, there are no simple solutions. One thing he agrees with is that in future, we might all be jobless, thanks to the robots, so we need to rethink our policies to prepare for this very possible future.
Whichever way you look at it, this news is either great or downright frightening, based on your idea of how much humans should work. We should expect less work in the manufacturing sector, call centers, and truck driving but more in the home, construction and health care.
More Robots, More inequality
This matter has been debated quite a lot. Anyone who has given this matter serious thought agrees that increasing our level of automation is likely to cause a lot of inequality. We can agree that most businesses are reaping the fruits of automation, although wages have not grown at the same pace.
As a result, people are beginning to wake up. In fact, Andrew Yang, a Democrat running for president has made this subject the focal point in his campaign. He believes the problem, in this case, is automation of task, which is a bigger problem that outsourcing manufacturing jobs to China. He believes that this is the reason people elected Donald Trump.
If the machines win, should the government give its citizens a paycheck?
Andrew Yang feels the solution, although short term, is to issues every American Citizen with some form of paycheck, which he labeled Freedom Dividend. The amount should be something like $1000 each month. This would help to solve the issue of inequality.
This idea is not new. President Nixon and the congress almost made into law such an idea in the 70s as a measure to deal with poverty. However today, after many years of the GOP giving this subject and many other social strategies a wide berth, the need for a universal income for all American feels as alien as the ideas in the newest sequel of the movie The Terminator.
Yang points out to jobs like truck driving, which while the key to the economy, might end up being completely automated. Automatic trucks will lower carbon emissions, and save the government lots of money, but will render many people jobless.
However, although truck driving is a good job, it is not everyone’s cup of tea, so letting the bots handle a job that we would not be interested in unless we have to do them, is not such a bad idea.
Somewhere in between, is where we will find ourselves
Americans need to have an honest and candid conversation about their future urgently. There is a choice to make here. The question to ask is whether we should allow technology to better our working condition, which in effect, will benefit America in general.
The alternative is a dark and dystopian viewpoint where people believe the robots will take over the world leaving everyone jobless and at the mercy of our creations. Truth is that we might actually end up in the middle.
We will continue to work with the help of technology and we will experience its evolution. Of course, new forms of work will come up. Therefore, what we need is to ensure that everyone will transition justly, responsibly and fairly.
What the future holds
In this century, what most people worry about is employment rights. However, in the long run, and with automation in the pipeline, the government will be forced to adopt a very new definition of what work is and the goals that people to strive to attain.