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IEET Work on Technological Unemployment Cited in Hartford Courant
Sep 1, 2013  

IEET contributor Leo Canty wrote an editorial for the Hartford Courant on the occasion of Labor Day, America’s faux May Day.

The Hartford Courant

We’re Just One Step Ahead Of The Robots
Automation Taking Over More And More Formerly Human Jobs

By Leo Canty

August 30, 2013

This Labor Day piece was not written by a robot. But it won’t be long before it is.

....

A half-century ago, it took decades to develop simple robots. The first industrial one was built in Connecticut in the 1960s by Danbury-based Unimation. Robot job adaptation gains come in months now, almost faster than Moore’s Law, which accurately predicted in 1965 that the number of transistors on integrated circuits would double about every two years.
robots
Google robots drive cars. Da Vinci robots do surgery. Kiva robots move inventory in warehouses. Narrative Science robots write news stories. Haohai robots are restaurant cooks and waiters, AIST robots are catwalk fashion models — way cheaper than Bar Refaeli. Stepford robots … well, is there even a market for robot wives?

Post Great Recession, millions of good-paying middle-class human jobs were devoured by lower cost and risk automation. It happened all over the world. And, so far, there seem to be fewer humans needed to build or dominate the machines as this revolution spins toward us faster than our brains are processing it (a demonstrated human weakness). We need to guide the outcome as our world changes in tremendous ways — if it’s the last human job we do.

A Luddite solution still won’t work. But more technology awareness and more dialogue on social, economic and human options is paramount. We need to be more active designers in our own development for a human future. Look at IEET.org — based at Trinity College — an advancing technology information-filled website, to start that knowledge quest.

This robot revolution is taking off. Will we celebrate human labor for another century or will it be over when the robot writes the Labor Day op-ed?

 




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