Saturday, June 15, 2013

Skynet Goes Online in 2045

I've ranted a few times about how much I hate outsourcing, but there might be a new threat to our employ-ability, our own ingenuity. There's been a lot of talk lately about how robots will replace humans in the workforce.

This article by Jason Dorrier explains why its going to happen and draws many parallels to the industrial revolution.

It's a scary thought. This will introduce two options to large companies on saving money, outsourcing and robots. Sure robots might cost more at the beginning, but they can work 24/7 and more efficiently.

Most places will only need a human to make sure that their robotic force is still running. If Sallie and I have kids, I'm telling them to go into programming or engineering.

I'm going to be 60 around the time this shift is expected to happen. That's terrifying. No more is the retirement age going to be 65 (it'll be closer to 75-80 by the time I'm up there). Everyone tells me to plan for my retirement when I'm planning for the reality that I probably won't get to retire and my benefactor will make off with the meager 401k I have stashed away.

Essentially, everyone will have to live off of the government. Which, if our robotic overlords are efficient enough at making goods, foods, etc, the government is more than happy to oblige. It becomes a system where we have all the free time in the world, as long as we're willing to trust in our government to provide.

The amount of Americans on disability has doubled in the last 15 years and this is partially because certain jobs are already eliminated. If you have time, listen to This American Life #490: Trends with Benefits. The reporter goes to a small town in Alabama where 25% of the population is on disability and its because many of their jobs have completely been eliminated from the work force. (This is also partially because the education level is so low there.)

Essentially, we're too smart for our own good. We're making humans irrelevant in the work force and all of us will end up living on disability. I'll be the first one to join up with John Conner and the resistance when Skynet goes online.