Marshall Brain articles on the future with robots

While browsing for material that we can use to show potential careers in the wide field of robots and automation, I literally stumbled across a link to some articles by Marshall Brain about a possible scenario linking the expansion or robots and robotics to the economy of the future.

While not wanting to fan any flames or take a side here one way or another, especially as I am still digesting much of what I read, I thought I would share the information and ask if anyone else has read this information and if so, what did you think of it?

As we are potentially going to be deeply involved with this technology and all that it brings with it, I found this to be an interesting article to read. Robotics, like every other technology humans have discovered, has the potential to be used for all the wrong things and reasons, as well as for the good.

Anyway, I wanted to just see who has seen this and if you have, or when you have, what you thought about what he is saying. No judgements here from me about Mr. Brain or his credentials, just what he is writing about.

Thanks much


How about a link to the article?

I believe this is what he is talking about

If you’re interested in this kind of thing, I’d highly recommend the robot novels by Isaac Asimov. Particularly “The caves of steel” for this topic. It shows an alarmingly plausible future where humans have grown to a size where they must live in huge cities (more like states or even countries) and live very tightly controlled lives based around minimalizing waste. One of the side effects of this life is a huge resentment towards robots doing any job that humans can do at all, to the point where there is a riot if a single person is replaced with a robot. This is the kind of thing I would expect with any move towards the future described in the article. At the moment things like ATMs are accepted because they are seen as a mindless task that requires none of the “human element” to perform. The moment we get to the point of things like the positronic brain in Asimov’s stories, however, the rest of humans would recognize a threat and banish all robots to space exploration (again similar to the Asimov stories).

Also, I see a kind of resentment to non-human interaction in everyday lives. Sure, it’s much more convenient if an automated kiosk takes your order, then a machine cooks the burger for you, then it comes out on an automated tray, but almost everyone enjoys those short conversations you have to other humans when ordering that burger. It is very tough to make a robot powerful enough to handle the average human conversation and still make it seem natural. Even if it was done, that resentment would show up where we know it’s foreign and tend to not want it as much.

Plus, there’s the aspect of self-preservation. I highly doubt that any programmer would ever create a robot that could program on the same level as him due to the thought that it would lead to his own unemployment. Similarly, no manager would buy a robot that could replace him in his duties as a manager. Whoever has control over where the robots can be would limit the robots to be in a lower position to protect their own role.

Now, I’m getting tired, so I’ll stop boring you with my arguments[/human psychology arguments with no degrees]

Im familiar with the Asimov stories, but the article by Marshall Brain was mostly referring to the potential ( not necessarily saying unavoidable - me ) economic problems caused by the huge numbers of displaced workers who had jobs taken by automation and were not able to be placed back in the workplace.