It is Obvious

Chris Rick has got altogether too much to say

I, robot

Posted by chrisrick13 on May 18, 2017

It is obvious: I am a man

I have watched the increase of robots in our society.  It might have been with some trepidation but at 66 I have no fear of a robot taking my job.  I know that advances are fast but I am too old for Skynet to arrive and change my life either.

I think that ‘robot’ cars will affect my life and arrive sooner than most imagine.  I cannot see any downside for us as a society other than short-term upheaval in the car manufacturing industry.  Luckily the UK got rid of its industry many years ago.

I had the concern that robots would take jobs in manufacturing.  It is now a certainty.  I watched news footage yesterday of two men taking pressed metal parts off a conveyor belt and giving them a cursory inspection.  They typically gathered 5 in one hand neatly piled up before lobbing them into a large bin.  They probably did more damage with the ‘lob’ than they ever inspected out.  Why not complete the partial stack that they created?  I wonder if the two men thought about their contribution to…anything?

For a long time I have bemoaned that we are paying people at minimum wage (at least) something like $15 an hour to do jobs, done in Asia or Africa by people paid a-dollar-a-day.  The progress down to that parity needed for us to compete seemed to me to be a painful one for us in the west.

No longer is that the case.  You can have a man in Sunderland screwing wheels on to a vehicle at $15 an hour or you can have a robot do it for 10 cents a day.  So the guy in Sunderland loses his job…but so does the guy in Manilla.  If you are rich enough to invest the $100,000 in the robot you might as well do it in the UK.  Better infrastructure and shorter supply chain.

Robots will on-shore manufacturing and the people to lose their jobs first will be in 3rd-world countries.  That is where the suffering will hit first and hardest.

It is obvious: I am a man but a robot could probably do it better.


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