Sunday, August 29, 2010

Robots are coming . . .

MARSHALL BRAIN IS AN ENTHUSIASTIC TECHIE who is the founder of How Stuff Works which has grown to be one of the top Web sites for that kind of knowledge. Well, Marshall has a page on his site called Robot Nation, and you should read it and ponder, especially if you have children, and care about their future. There is a companion page, Robot Nation FAQ, which also is worthy of perusal.

I firmly believe that the rapid evolution of computer technology (as described in Robotic Nation) will bring us smart robots starting in a 2030 time frame. These robots will take over approximately 50% of the jobs in the U.S. economy over the course of just a decade or two. Something on the order of 50 million people will be unemployed. 

Why should YOU care? Well, a 10 year-old can reasonably expect to live to 2080, and his/her children could live to around 2120, and Marshall expects robotics to be rockin' by 2050. Will North America have "socialist" systems for the life-time unemployed, or will they be left to starve, or be rounded up for "disposal"? Will there be a Luddite revolt? Makes the fixation of U.S. business on continuous quarterly growth irrelevant, dangerously so, considering the damage that mind-set has already caused.

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