This Short Video Shows How Each Robot Replaces Six Human Employees

Tuesday, 11 April 2017 - 1:45PM
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Tuesday, 11 April 2017 - 1:45PM
This Short Video Shows How Each Robot Replaces Six Human Employees
When sci-fi author Cixin Liu wrote his piece about the robot revolution in the New York Times, one of his predictions was that AI and autonomous robots would bring about the economic collapse of huge portions of the world:

Opening quote
In the dystopian scenario, as jobless numbers rise across the globe, our societies sink into prolonged turmoil. The world could be engulfed by endless conflicts between those who control the A.I. and the rest of us. The technocratic 10 percent could end up living in a gated community with armed robot guards.
Closing quote


The prediction of mass joblessness is backed up by a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, which essentially says that for every robot that's employed, six humans lose their jobs. Here's a short video that explains it:



Apart from coming up with reassuring parables for how robots will never be able to write a poem or understand love, it's hard to know what our next step in as a global society. Two options are to institute widespread welfare or to retrain hundreds of thousands of workers, but neither of those choices seems especially practicable. Even more troubling, though, is what happens if we do manage to adapt to a society where AI and robots have made human labor obsolete. Liu imagines a future where:

Opening quote
...we've gradually given up our autonomy, step by step, allowing ourselves to be transformed into A.I.'s docile, fabulously pampered pets. As A.I. whisks us from place to place - visits to family members, art galleries and musical events - we will look out the windows, as unaware of its plans for us as a poodle on its way to the groomer's.
Closing quote


Depending on your outlook, this could mean becoming the tubby space cadets in Wall-E or a slow drift into Harlan Ellison's I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream.
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