Please, Take My Job!

Just last week I wrote a closing thought about robots and the jobs that are lost because of their use… may check out the post here…..

I, Robot I recall many years ago when the news of the first robots being used by the auto industry was all the talk…..of course the pro side was that they would do hazardous work and thus wou…

Source: Closing Thought–14Feb17 – In Saner Thought

To be truthful it was a negative post on the loss of jobs…so when I read this article to the contrary I felt I needed to post it also……there is always 2 sides to every report, right?

Over the next 15 years, 2 to 3 million Americans who drive for a living – truckers, bus drivers and cabbies – will be replaced by self-driving vehicles, according to a December 2016 White House report on the ascent of artificial intelligence (AI). An estimate by the University of Oxford and Citi, a bank, predicts that 77 percent of Chinese jobs are at risk of automation over roughly the same period.

Millions of people around the world would lose their jobs under these scenarios, potentially sparking mass social unrest and upheaval.

Source: Robots are taking jobs, but also creating them: Research review – Journalist’s Resource Journalist’s Resource

While I was writing this update I found yet another  piece about robotics and jobs…..this time it is something that Bill Gates had to say……

Job-stealing robots should be taxed the same as humans, Bill Gates says. “If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level,” the Microsoft founder tells Quartz. He says governments should tax companies that replace workers with machines and use that money to fund jobs that can only be performed by humans, such as caring for children and the elderly. In what is perhaps a surprising declaration for a man who built his fortune through innovation, the billionaire philanthropist contends the pace of automation in job-killing industries ought to be slowed, and taxes can help do that. “It is really bad if people overall have more fear about what innovation is going to do than they have enthusiasm,” he says.

While the European Parliament last week nixed a robot tax for now, notes the Telegraph, such a levy is being pushed by the French socialist candidate for president. But the idea of taxing machines is picking up steam even in the unlikely climes of Silicon Valley, which seems to favor the customers, not the industry, footing the bill, per the Financial Times. But the world’s richest man doesn’t think manufacturers would mind paying up. “I don’t think the robot companies are going to be outraged that there might be a tax,” he says. “It’s OK.” Skeptics took to Twitter, blaming Microsoft’s own technology for lost human jobs. (Read the full interview here.)

This is a fascinating debate….I can see both sides of this issue….but then there are the workers….many promises are made and seldom followed through….how will this situation be resolved?

A good question for a rainy day.


9 thoughts on “Please, Take My Job!

  1. This issue is what logicians would term a ‘slippery slope’…. and, I might add, it presupposes the robots themselves will never have a say in what they do. If AI continues to progress to where fully self-aware robots are common, I think they will force humanity to consider their opinions… which probably isn’t going to go over very well with the religiously fundamental set, nor any of the political types, who believe making such decisions is their sole province….

    As for losing jobs to robots, I wouldn’t fret overmuch about it; money & jobs are about to come crashing down, any time now, & the future, if we make it far enough, will look very different that what we are seeing now….

    And, a lot of people now alive are going to die, for, the first thing principles do when they are set is to kill people…. ask any historian….

    gigoid, the dubious

  2. I know we all hold the Constitution dear to our hearts and it has served us well since the Founding Fathers put it to parchment… and continues to do so (it’s my hope that’s how we get rid of Trump) but we really need to begin to evaluate how relevant it will be with the coming of new technologies and scientific discoveries. I know what I am suggesting will be as welcome as a… turd in a swimming pool… but the future of the country might be best served if some of the elements be updated to fit our modern world and the world to come. Terminology of the 18th century should be clarified to contemporary language usage. An example… the Second Amendment, dear to a lot of us, has nonetheless been a huge issue of interpretation for much of the 20th century to today regarding what exactly the Found Fathers meant given the wording is not overly concise. Now, add to that the advancing technology in weaponry.. just what happens when we transition from bullets to phasers, ray guns, portable rail guns, pulse pistols? Should the amendment be re-written to assure the public is armed in some sort of parity with the military in order to maintain that age-old idea that Americans keep and bear arms in order to keep government honest? Do we re-write it to try and control the potential devastation of such weapons (beyond bullets) in the hands of nutcases?
    Robotics is the future and while the folks in rural Trump country are thinking Trump is going to bring all their jobs back, robotics alone is likely going to keep that from happening, regardless of what Trump thinks he can do. Then you have the progression toward market globalization, which we all know tends to displace traditional workers. We do have a world-wide adjustment to make for sure. There will be Constitutional challenges (hence the need to consider re-writing some of it) and the likely very painful shift from the factory worker-bee mentality to a more techno-oriented workplace. Another long winded reply here, chuq.. but you bring good points for discussion.

    1. Make it as long as you like…I enjoy your thoughts and very informative. I agree that a convention is sadly needed…..18th century thinking does not play well in the 21st. chuq

  3. The math here is not rocket science. If no one works, there is no tax money and there is no spending money and people die under the current system. If the robots build everything, assemble everything and do everything then everything is for naught because without wages or taxes being paid, or money borrowed, no one is going to be able to afford any of it and it’s all hollowness and emptiness, like Olympic structures once the party leaves town. Finally, finally, the capitalist system is exposed for the utter fraud it has always been. “They” have taken everything of value and laid bare the planet, so to speak. Now one of the top con man of the bunch says, “tax robots” knowing full well that he and his buddies will quietly oppose any such moves while publicly making it seem as if he is in favour. After all, taxing robots means taxing the corporations that own them and use them. The gall of these lying A-Holes is beyond galling. But they are so used to people not able, or willing, to see through their duping that it doesn’t matter: they’re sure to get what they want in the end, assuming they even know what that could be: one great big Amazon-style warehouse the size of, oh pick a country, Paraguay, to stuff all the stuff in and then what?

  4. That’s an eye-opener, Chuq: in order to keep jobs people hate, so they can try to pay bills they can’t begin to meet, they are going to have to compete with robots to see who can do the job fastest and cheapest. Beyond Brave New Word; beyond 1984, beyond Hunger Games, beyond Terminator, there’s a novel in this somewhere… A dystopian sci-fi world no longer fiction in which people battle robots for survival but it’s not really a war as in Terminator, and it’s not a revolution as in Hunger Games, it’s just dog-eat-robot good old fashion capitalistic competition. Or perhaps a global wave of neo-Luddism expressed as robot-smashing protests. I can’t somehow imagine billions of people with no means of livelihood just rolling over and dying. Some of us have read some history.

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