This evening I watched an ‘episode’ of “60 Minutes”, the BBC program that covers many fascinating subjects. This one was about the rapid development of mechanical Robots and the anticipated effects on the world at large and labor markets in particular.
Robots have been in the minds of men for years, most of them incorporated into scary or comical movies, but according to 60 Minutes there has been a recent upsurge in robot-use. Robots are being designed to fulfill many tasks which up to now have been handled exclusively by men. Tasks of fetching, carrying and sorting are ideal for card-reading robots who handle the jobs smoothly, effortlessly and, of course cheaply. Even operating a vacuum-cleaner is now listed as a robot job – well, it didn’t require a rocket scientist in the first place, but some of the maids were nice to look at…
So you will not be surprised one of these days when you receive a pink slip – sent by a robot, of course, informing you that your job in the warehouse just went down the tubes. And when your neighbor’s pill-sorting job disappears the next week, you will understand what’s happening and soon you will be right at home with all the guys who have lost their jobs to robots and to the fact that there are no more jobs anywhere.
The next step, not covered by 60 Minutes, shows the crowds knocking at the gates of the retirement homes.
“We are retirees, let us in!” they shout. And the gate swings open and they pour in.
After the third week the retirement home management will lock the gates and shout back “Go away! We are full! There’s no more space in here!”
Nah, this just a funny story I dreamed up here on the couch.