BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 09:  The Terminator robot is seen in the paddock following qualifying for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 9, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

I, robot. You, unemployed

One evening last autumn, four experts in the field of artificial intelligence arrived in Westminster with an urgent message for our government. There’s a robot revolution on the way, they said, and unless we prepare for it we’re in trouble.

The briefing was a quiet affair — I was one of only a few journalists invited, for fear of headlines like ‘The Terminator is coming’. However, by the time the last A.I. expert had said his piece, it was hard to imagine how a hack could over-hype the story. Computers really are set to take over, it turns out. We’re rolling unstoppably towards servitude to machines.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    I guess this means we will need fewer unskilled migrants from the third-world?
    All hail our robot overlords!

    • Jay Currie

      One would think so…but that would deprive the left of the key voters required to win.

    • BillyHW

      I’ve always dreamed about Japanese robot crop-pickers. It’s 2000-freakin-15 already.

  • Dana Garcia

    Speaking of self-driving vehicles, Obama hopes to speed up the process by dumping in $4 billion, because America isn’t losing jobs fast enough to suit him.

    • He be crazy.

      • dance…dancetotheradio

        Easy there Jar Jar.

  • Brett_McS

    Thank heavens the children are no longer our future. /SDA

  • Ron MacDonald

    When robots take over most manufacturing in the West China is going to feel it the most.

    • Brett_McS

      The Chinese already have the highest take-up of factory robots. Their problem has been lack of skilled labour.

  • disqus_PwGxBXHn8l

    Robots won’t really cause the loss of all jobs. They will cause a sharp reduction in the need for repetitive, unskilled labour. A job will be something an intelligent/skilled person has. There will be profound social changes, many of them bad for civil liberties of course.

    • andycanuck

      In the recent past BCF has linked to some reports on how robots will be replacing white collar jobs too.

      • disqus_PwGxBXHn8l

        I may have written some of them. They will replace a lot of white collar jobs, just not all. Think medical dicta or title searching.

        • Minicapt

          … writing blog entries …


    • Physics grad

      Well that rules out the need for liberals in the future then…

  • Physics grad

    Good. Machines are logical. They will get rid of all the muslims for us.

    • Pavelina

      You mean – they can’t make politically correct robots? remember — garbage in, garbage out, that we were told when we first learned to operate computers?

    • Justin St.Denis

      And women!

  • Pavelina

    The answer is simple. The govt. should pass a law making robots illegal.

  • Xavier

    Dune seems more prescient every day.

  • Hard Little Machine

    There will always be a place for savages and fools to protest, burn down stuff and kill people. Those will always be acceptable careers in the west.

  • Justin St.Denis

    Because I effin hated the “filing” aspects of early employment experiences, I looked forward to the “paperless office” the futurists told us was on the horizon when computers were first introduced to office places. Ha!