Martin Ford argues in his book “Rise of the Robots” that robots and computer programs will replace the human workforce in the near future. Robots currently can deliver packages, write sports articles, and beat human beings at Jeopardy!, which makes it more and more likely that businesses will lean towards using them for labor. Robots are cheaper, more reliable, and often more accurate than their human counterparts. Martin expresses exasperation that there is currently no plan to help displaced workers who will lose their jobs in the robotic-boom.
In response to reading this article, I’ve been working twice as hard on my online computer-science classes, and I’ve been saving money to buy myself an Arduino (a micro-controller marketed towards beginning programmers). Part of the motivation is simply for fun, but also I hope to turn this fun into something useful. If I know at least a little bit about how robots work, I won’t be left completely in the dust when the switch-over to automated technology happens. Even so, there is no guarantee that anyone will have jobs, argues Ford. I am halfway through the book, and it seems that he will be pushing towards an implementation of a Universal Basic Income, or at least some sort of system to take care of all the people who will no longer have means to make money.
This is a magnificent read for forward-thinkers and tech-heads. The writing is clear, technical, and fun. For me, it’s a springboard into a variety of subjects that I’m already interested in, and also gives me one framework to work through in preparation for my own future.