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.

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  • Drunk_by_Noon

    I guess this means we will need fewer unskilled migrants from the third-world?
    Cool!
    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.

    http://www.limitstogrowth.org/articles/2016/01/15/obama-plans-to-spend-4-billion-to-speed-development-of-self-driving-vehicles/

    • 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 …

          Cheers

    • 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!