October 27, 2011

Automation Nation: Will Robots Take Our Jobs? [video]

Check out this conversation between Robin Hanson and Martin Ford on the future of the American economy and the role of intelligent computers and robots. The primary question tackled: Will rapid technological innovations aid American workers, or will it render large numbers of American workers obsolete?

Nice quote from Hanson:
"When machines are really powerful and can do lots of things you only need to own a few machines to be able to own a lot and survive and be prosperous and wealthy. So, once machines are so good that people can't compete with them we will have a vastly [more] prosperous world where we have all these productive machines and owning some of these machines will be enough. We need to make a smooth transition so that people start to buy capital so that they can own these machines and be productive and wealthy."
The episode is from the PBS show, "Ideas in Action", which in this segment features a half hour discussion about information technology -- in particular robots/AI -- and its impact on the future job market and economy. The show will air on PBS stations beginning this Sunday, but is available online now.

1 comment:

Nato said...

Even if we don't need to work to improve our material situation, I don't think humans are psychologically equipped to be happy and healthy while not having a substantial avocation of some kind. Maybe we don't need jobs per se, but we need something like them.

Thus we still have a huge cultural and economic transition ahead of us that can't be negotiated just by distributing the machine surplus to those made superfluous.