The world is currently reeling with high unemployment. Eurostat estimates that 24.413 million men and women in the EU-28, of whom 18.395 million were in the euro area (EA-18), were unemployed in October 2014. In the US, jobless rate decreased to 5.9 percent in September from 6.1 percent in August, the lowest rate since July of 2008. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 329,000 to 9.3 million (source: Trading Economics). There is a huge divergence of the US unemployment statistics from the 24% unemployment that was reported by Shadow Government Statistics. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a record 20% of American households are on food stamps i.e. one in five, were on food stamps in 2013. These figures suggest that the official unemployment figure of 5.9% is highly questionable.
According to WTechWeek, over a third of the UK’s workforce could be at threat over the next few decades as computers and robots begin to take over many jobs. With ramphant high rate of unemployment, one wonders why the quest to employ robots to work in areas that are best suited for people is gaining much traction. Robots are highly suited in certain areas of work, especially those that are highly repetitive and in hazardous environments. But to have a robot act as a sales person is baffling. More so when young men and women are idling around looking for gainful employment. The enormous social cost of using robots in the place of unemployed humans is unfathomable. Is there a rationale for this?
Scientific discoveries and advancements are wonderful pursuits. The creativity of the human mind should not be impeded. But when the impact on the social and moral fabric of society is devastating, the choice should be clear in deciding on the wiser approach. Else greed will prevail, and those with the power to obliterate the powerless will not hesitate to do so for selfish gain. Is it not that the rich and powerful are contemplating the idea of depopulation. Only minds possessed by demons would ever contemplate such diabolical ideas as to depopulate the world to a “sustainable” 500 million (Read more ….. ). To such people, a world run by robots that are in their absolute control makes good sense. Is this a reason for the relentless pursuit towards a robotic race to serve these elite masters?
Robotic slaves taking over human work is getting both perplexing and interesting. Singapore is reported to be vying for the top spot of being the first to introduce flying robots in place of waiters. The project is estimated to cost a “low seven-figure sum,” according to Woon Junyang, chief executive officer at Infinium Robotics. Singapore government will provide funds for the project. When unemployment looms, isn’t this another blatant abuse of taxpayers money? It is really hard to justify such government grants in this instance especially when the technology is not home-grown.
Elsewhere, Amazon and Google are exploring mass delivery of small packages via unmanned aircrafts. In countries with large geographical coverage and low population density, this innovation is appropriate. This may help Australian Post stem its operating loss arising from covering a large area using high cost labour. Man’s nefarious imaginations are also taking robotic slavery across the red line. Robots may soon offer sex. Robots that look real, feels good and “knows” how to perform to man’s satisfaction may take on the greatest and most profitable industry known to man. All moral boundaries may soon be breached once robots take over.
Clearly, robots are both a bane and a boon. Robots are not the masters (yet?), people are. The situation may change rapidly though. Could robots turn masters and mortal humans become slaves? Prof Stephen Hawking, one of Britain’s pre-eminent scientists, thinks so. He told the BBC: “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”
And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.