Robot took my job!


Our future.

It would seem self-evident that robots and artificial intelligence will be taking a bigger place in our lives in the not too distant future. There is much discussion on how this will impact society, and how this may be addressed.

First & foremost is the question of where the money will come from, which in our present society is a relevant question. In a way it’s like giving a caveman an iPhone and expecting him to know what to do with it. Removing the idea that my identity is connected to my work and gives me value is indoctrinated in western society. So to think that people made redundant due to a robotics takeover can just be paid off is putting the issue too simply. There will be a loss of dignity, of value and a feeling of injustice.

Governments must come to terms that there will be jobs that people will no longer do, and what it will require its citizens to do instead of those jobs. Until this question is answered there will be a conflict between the working and non-working citizens.

It’s fair to say that different countries around the world have different attitudes toward government and its role in society. I am originally from Europe so I can accept government healthcare and other social benefits without crying socialism or communist, because I know that’s not what they are. Having society provide a safety net when things go wrong isn’t an alien concept even in the united states, Medicare and Medical are government safety nets, as is social security. And I am sure many Americans are pleased to be getting their benefits after paying into them their entire lives. The only difference is in Europe you don’t have to wait until your 67 years old to get some benefits.

And this difference in attitude lends itself to people in Europe being more accepting of a basic wage for all citizens. So it’s probable that countries in Europe will go down this path quite soon, as half of the jobs done by humans will be replaced by machines before 2025.

But make no mistake, this question will need to be answered in the United States as the people out of work due to machines will be a reality in the next ten years, if society doesn’t act to provide a safety net businesses will suffer and it will be much harder to change attitudes after the fact!

Which brings me to the questions this new world order bring up:

In country “A” every citizen gets a basic wage and training to do work for the community or they have the time to start a business when the machines take over jobs; so there is no feeling of desperation in paying the bills.

Country “B” hasn’t yet adopted the idea of a basic wage, so when you lose a job because it’s cheaper for machines to do the work, you are left out in the cold with very few options.

It would seem obvious that as a citizen of country “B” I would be much better off in country “A”. But will I be able to move to country “A”? How will immigration and border control be managed?

In this world where there is already such a difference in attitudes and education from one country to the next, is it correct to think that such a new paradigm will even more alienate the progressive countries from those that struggle with change. And how will this difference be addressed by government and business leaders of the world?

Utrecht city council to begin experiments with a basic income

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