Published On: Mon, Oct 1st, 2012

Will robots take over the world?

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History Future Now frequently writes about automation, in the form of computerisation and robotics, and its increasing impact on the job market.  I have made a comparison to the industrial revolution (see article on 150 years of pain) and the agricultural revolution, both of which saw a dramatic shift in the number of people needed for manufacturing and agriculture, resulting in millions of people being displaced from their jobs for several generations.  And eventually a bonanza of affluence for millions, generations later.

Andrew McAfee, a principal research scientist at MIT, gives a great presentation at TEDx Boston in June 2012 where he takes a very different view to technology and describes how great he thinks it will be for us all. For an up beat view on the future you should have a watch.  His enthusiasm is infectious – life is going to be okay, great in fact.  But a few minutes after watching you will think: is that it?  And then you will proceed to feel completely deflated.

If this is the most optimistic view of the future available, we are in for a world of trouble.

History Future Now, ebook edition, is now available from the Apple iBookstore!  So if you have a iPad or iPhone click on this link to download it.  It is currently on at a special offer of 99c.   The Kindle version has been submitted to Amazon and should be available shortly.

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