Friday, March 06, 2015

In Defense of Robots?

I found a couple articles by guys who think the increase in robot applications is a good thing. This guy in Forbes magazine claims robots will be the biggest job creators ever. This fellow in Reason magazine...well, I'm not sure I got his point, but he does think robots improve the human condition and will continue to.

I think they're both full of crap. That's not to say robots (along with artificial intelligence) haven't improved things in many ways and will continue to. I still say robotics will continue to be a large and growing threat to human jobs.

The guy from Forbes says they'll create jobs we haven't even imagined yet. How? Sure, even 60 years ago we didn't imagine the computer and cell phone industries creating the number of jobs they have, but that can only go so far. More and more of those jobs are becoming automated, or face the possibility of automation. The same could be said of just about any other job- all threatened with automation, eventually.

The Forbes guy is falling back on the past to predict the future. I think he's wrong. I'll go so far as to say the only new jobs (the ones he writes that we haven't yet imagined) in the next 100 years will be jobs that were created simply because a robot could do them.


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