Reply to post: Re: will the rise of the Robots

Regulate, says Musk – OK, but who writes the New Robot Rules?

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: will the rise of the Robots

A good point, and one long discussed down the decades of industrial relations. It takes far fewer people now to run a car assembly line than it did decades ago. Nobody likes being replaced by a pay-less machine, and never have.

The stock answer to this is that the people no longer employed, say, assembling cars are now employed doing something else instead that machines cannot do. The idea being that the economic productivity of the nation is higher for the same number of man hours, and we're all better off as a result.

The trouble with that idea is that actually it's very difficult to come up with an idea for what all those people are actually going to do instead. Just because one industry no longer needs thousands of people, there's no reason why another is going to magically spring up in its place. Couple that with the fact that after being encouraged to go to university, etc. the younger generation seem less keen on doing things like manual labour no matter what the renumeration is (and who can blame them?), there is even less incentive for anyone with a suitably expansive industrial idea requiring a lot of manual labour to actually set up in an area which used to depend on such things.

Thus the politics of the UK over the past 40 years or so (if not longer when one looks back to the closure of the cotton mills, etc). Personally speaking I think it could have been a whole lot worse than it actually was. Just think what it'd be like without the inward investment from the Japanese car manufacturers.

Jobs that are robot proof? Plumbing. Electrician. Undertaker. Tax man. That's probably about it.

I sincerely doubt that AI will advance to the point where it can replace delivery drivers (or any drivers), but with the impending legal clamp down on the Gig economy the likes of Amazon, etc. will decide they have less of a need for delivery drivers (it'll become cheaper to buy it in a shop as Amazon are forced to actually employ their drivers as staff, and Amazon's business will shrink).

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