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Fear the future reaper

The other day, while I explaining to my mother some of the best parts the future has to hold due to technology, she espoused the common belief among her age group: “I hope I’m dead by then.” Mixed in that sentiment: The fear of the future, and the regretfullness at the same time of not learning everything about the internet that she wants to.

But she is not the only one who fears upcoming upheaval. I do, too. Technology’s advancements and human beings’ changes are occurring mighty quickly lately. No more slow drips of progress.. these days we are printing in 3D everything from houses to lungs and the future, oh that future, appears to be muddled in some kind of puddle transhumanism/eternal health and happiness.

Regardless of the niceties to come, there are reasons to fear.. When certain governments use progress to hurt society that is awful. When corporations hate their customer and worker, that is equally unfair..

In a sense, robotic advancements on their own are neither moral or immoral. A robot lacks a soul, it lacks the consciousnesses of life.. We think at least. But let’s go with the idea that they do.. When human beings, rife with more good and evil thoughts, get a hold of the robot, bad things can happen.

A robot can be used to build a house.
Or destroy an entire village of women and children in a war.
Take you pick.

On the fear concept, we are hearing from Google’s Eric Schmidt. He says to embrace the brave new world of the artificial future..don’t fear the reaper.

WIRED reports in more detail. Issie Lapowsky writes,
According to Schmidt, people have been concerned about machines taking over the world for centuries. “Go back to the history of the loom. There was absolute dislocation,” he said, “but I think all of us are better off with more mechanized ways of getting clothes made.” Plus, he argued, in the past economies have prospered the more they adopt these new technologies. “There’s lots of evidence that when computers show up, wages go up,” he said. “There’s lots of evidence that people who work with computers are paid more than people without.”

The real threat, he believes, is that education systems around the world aren’t teaching their students the skills they need to work together with these increasingly intelligent machines. “The correct concern,” Schmidt explained, “is what we’re going to do to improve the education systems and incentive systems globally, in order to get people prepared for this new world, so they can maximize their income.”

Lapwosky goes on to write of how Schmidt thinks that technology is much more primitive than people think. I agree with him on that. I do not think we are quite ‘there’ yet as far as the real rapid fire changes that society is going to have to adapt to. I do disagree with him, too. I think humanity is not ready for robots to replace their jobs. Government is not ready, either.. businesses may not be either!

Robots are doing everything from picking apples in farms to making cars to serving food at restaurants. All things have a mechanical element. Even the idea of bureaucrats pushing paper for hours a day in theory could be replaced by a robot doing the same—and perhaps more efficiently without office gossip or smoke breaks to boot.

People used to be freaked by Google. Remember about ten years ago when Gmail was introduced? Millions of people are shocked to learn that Google would be able to scan personal email to use it as product placement and ad generation. (and much much more, we just don’t talk about that) .. Then millions of people signed up and all was forgotten.

Same will occur here. Everything is eventual. And technological advancements are as well..

But for the betterment of society? Only society’s response in years will tell us the real tale of what good or bad effect it had..

I can say this, though: We need to start preparing now for a majority of people not working, not having the ability to compete with robots, and signing up for government benefits.

Maybe the idea of the wage floor will make sense to a society in the future.

Maybe that future is coming very, very soon..



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