Rise Of The Robots

As Rodney continues,

Both of these developments — collaborative and guide robots — increase the speed at which people are being replaced in the workplace. Such displacements have happened throughout history, constantly killing different types of employment, driving would-be weavers, carriage makers, secretaries and now machine operators into other jobs.

While there’s no doubt that society as a whole is better off with greater productivity, the picture isn’t so bright for the would-be machine operator. With median income falling as the middle class loses ground, we need a faster method for retraining displaced workers and training those new to the workforce in jobs that are unlikely to be automated in the near future.

Otherwise, we’ll end up with many potential workers who can’t even get a job at McDonald’s… because that company is also automating the ordering process.

You can view the full article here.

We’re still a long way off from having guides replace customer service personnel.  But self-checkout lines have already reduced the number of cashiers at Home Depot, Lowes, and even Walmart.  Again, all of this is great for productivity…and keeping labor costs in check.  But it does raise the uncomfortable question of where low-skilled workers will find jobs a decade from now.

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John Fitch 6 years ago Member's comment

The solution to robots as labor replacement: Mincome. Otherwise low-skilled workers will just have to learn how to build the robots that will eventually replace them in the other jobs they would be doing. Actually, robots will probably be used to build the new robots..how ironic. Not just low skilled workers, but technology might render some skilled workers obsolete- such as actuaries. Every industry may soon be filled with Luddites..

Joe Black 6 years ago Member's comment

What's Mincome?

John Fitch 6 years ago Member's comment

It was a guaranteed income experiment performed in Canada in the 70s to measure its impact on the labor force participation rate. It's a pretty interesting concept that I think should be examined on a broader spectrum.