Future of jobs in a world filled with automation and robots

Future of jobs in a world filled with automation and robots


Roboticist Hans Moravec predicts that by 2020, robots will simulate the intelligence of a monkey. That may not seem smart, but with adequate software, it will be intelligent enough to perform most of today's jobs. And here's the "killer-ap" - future 'bots can build labor-free copies of themselves increasing their numbers exponentially. By mid-2020s, some predict, humanoids could outnumber people.

One day one person will control all the robots and no human will have a job. What will we do then?

If robots can create robots, the supply should be large enough that the cost for a robot is rather minimal. Near infinite labor means the costs to mine garbage dumps for materials becomes doable. So is clearing brown fields of hazardous material. Even building a canal across Arizona. So what can you call a world that has access to near infinite labor other than Utopia?

The Lego Quad Delta Robot System has four flexing arms that can move in three dimensions, each equipped with a pneumatically driven gripper. Those arms pick up blocks moving on two conveyor belts marked with special light sensors that detect the block's position and color. The system can move 48 of these blocks per minute. Oh, and the whole darn thing, including the impressive support frame, is made out of Lego!

From Model Factory Made With Lego Robots Moves 48 Items Per Minute (video) | Singularity Hub

A working robot controlled by a slime mould, Dalek anyone?

A working robot controlled by a slime mould, and designed and built in ECS-Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, will play a starring role in a major BBC4/Discovery Channel feature to be aired in the autumn.

A production team from BBC Scotland spent a whole day in ECS this week, filming with Dr Klaus-Peter Zauner and Dr Soichiro Tsuda, who developed the robot. Its central innovation is that it features a biochip which encapsulates a plasmodial cell of the slime mould Physarum polycephalum which is used to control the robot's movements. An electronic interface enables the slim mould cell to be connected to a computer in order to monitor local mechanical oscillations in the cell and it also provides stimulation for the slime mould with light signals, causing the movement of the robot.

From ECS - What’s inside a Dalek?

Maybe not a good idea to pursue Dalek technology?

The Robot Economy

Assume robots are the same as humans. Robots can do all the work that humans can do. Robots need the same amount of energy/food to stay functioning as humans do, but robots themselves can produce that energy/food just like humans can. Robots will need maintenance and training as humans do, but robots themselves can produce that maintenance and training just like humans can. Robots can produce other robots, just as humans can produce other humans.

The only difference between robots and humans is that robots are owned by humans. Robots are just like human slaves. Robots will earn the same wages as humans, but those wages, minus the costs of the robots’ subsistence, will go to the robots’ owners. Just like slaves.

From The Robot Economy - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

We’re going to need those Asimov rules.

Robot Cannon Kills 9, Wounds 14

many advanced military weapons are essentially robotic — picking targets out automatically, slewing into position, and waiting only for a human to pull the trigger. Most of the time. Once in a while, though, these machines start firing mysteriously on their own. The South African National Defence Force “is probing whether a software glitch led to an antiaircraft cannon malfunction that killed nine soldiers and seriously injured 14 others during a shooting exercise on Friday.”
From Robot Cannon Kills 9, Wounds 14 on Danger Room

Those three laws look better every day.

Robots with guns in Iraq

Robots have been roaming the streets of Iraq, since shortly after the war began. Now, for the first time — the first time in any warzone — the machines are carrying guns.
From Danger Room - Wired Blogs

As much as I might appreciate the use of technology to help save the lives of our troops; I’ve always been concerned with the use of combat robots. My biggest concern is that it will further remove the soldiers from the populace. One has to wonder if it is really that much easier to kill by proxy than it is to stand there and see the flesh and blood person before firing. I think we need to start considering Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics.

Robots draw girls to science

Girls plus robots equals fun and learning.
Six teams of five girls will spend Feb. 17 at UVic assembling and programming robots for a hovercraft rescue mission across a simulated river.
From Robots draw girls to science

More on robots in education. Using robotics to teach comp-sci isn’t a new thing. 80s era Logo software did this. But the quality or robotic components and robot sensors make things like this program really possible.