You Better Hate Automation
Don’t mind my title, I just needed a little sensation to DRAG your attention - I’m a little gregarious with my pieces - but believe me, automation is a problem. Before you roast me, read the gist;
A while back on my twitter account, I intimated strong disadvantages against the backdrop of advancements in Automation: Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. While we are all aware of areas that could be enhanced by Automation, I pinpointed the potential gross rate of unemployment as a ripple effect. I’m however quite surprised that it’s taken World leaders and Capitalists this long to realize the realities of this major advancement.
Elon Musk and Bill Gates among others, have recently been speaking on this premise but this sticking point will not be erased by mere lubrication of the mouth, we need action and we need it now. Soon, there will be no room for human Labour and believe me, as far fetched as it might sound, we might be in for some marxist conflict between Humans and Robots - don't mind me, I've seen too much Sci-fis.
This reality might only have hit handymen, drivers, industry workers and accountants but believe me, everyone is at risk; office workers, actors, sportsmen, everyone.
Now, I am not a cynical conspiracy nut or any shit like that but Automation was conceived to achieve aesthetics of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. As such, the certainty of this phenomenon spreading across all professions is very rich on grease. We can’t be lost in a frenzy of advancement while neglecting the obvious staring us in the face else we will be staring down a barrel. Follow me...
Guilty as charged, I’m sounding a little dramatic but that’s always the best way to stop an impending rot. Ol' Bill recently spoke about taxing robots but is that even a solution? No!
The problem is how to replace these potentially lost jobs, while erasing the possibility of Humans, being expletives in the Labour market. Why should we do that asides the aforementioned reasons of unemployment?
1. Potentially increased crime rate and dystopia: Survival is the first instinct of man, Human Beings have a natural propensity for violence when faced with necessity and Jobs keep us honest as they provides most our needs. Think of what will happen when 60% of the people in your community are out of jobs, you'll find the answer somewhere in there.
2. Collapse of major economies: Money makes the world go round - just ask a recession-ridden Nigeria. We make money through our wages and most of that money gets recycled back into system/economy through payments and purchases, businesses get richer and GDPs get fatter; everyone is happy. You know what happens when 60% of the human population don't have jobs? Money stops changing hands since there are none. Companies will keep on stacking products with no one to buy them. I know, far fetched.
3. Standards of Living will drop.
While there are other factors, I think you get the point with these few.
To every problem, a solution is required: How do we solve this potential obfuscation? While I’m naturally inclined to temporary suspension of all Automation Ventures, It’s not that simple ergo it’s not happening and we need a collection of ideas and evaluative capabilities to solve these potential issues. Here is my bit;
1. Laws, Laws & Laws: at the risk of sounding so Austinian, Regulations keep everyone in check and moreso corporations with power and limited resources. Most corporations are cabalistic in nature, some will call them heartless machineries blah blah blah... lookie here, something has got to work right. We could solve an escalation of issues through Laws by different Countries across the world, mandating a least percentage of human employment in all companies and creating tax as well as funding incentives for exceeding a certain percentage. It will not be a Corporate Social Responsibility but a human responsibility which all our futures might depend upon.
2. Creating new jobs for human beings which will not seem like a case of expletives - jobs that will pay the bills and employ the same number of people.
3. Promote entrepreneurship in humanity from an early age - if we can't survive as employees of each other, maybe we could as business owners providing each other with needs.
4. Permanently banning automation or restricting it to the barest minimum. This is always a solution but as a potential business leader myself, this might be a little too far fetched.
As Richard Branson said in Business Stripped Bare, the goal of capitalism isn't personal enrichment or advancement but the good capitalism can do for humanity. Laws should not have to mandate business leaders to look into the future of certain areas of advancement, they should do that and that's what we need in automation.
I'm inclined to ask an Amazon who it intends to sell those products in its automated stores to in 100 years when there is no longer any equitable distribution of income. Robots perhaps?
Automation is good and it is a welcome development but we have to realize that it could be the very death of humanity and economy which Labour is fundamental to.
Affirmative, the cost of development is short-term pain but this here might cause eternal - potentially apocalyptic -damage. You can’t just make telling decisions and look to make up as you go, actions have consequences.
It’s time for us to think because we can’t go on without a plan. When we’re looking at advancements and evolution or revolutions as it may, we have to look critically at effect.
A piece written on a whim but I hope it adequately conveys the point.