Tracking ID UA-126977798-1
With introduction of industrialization to spinning, weaving, agriculture and all the craft manufacturing skills in the 18th and 19th centuries, human labor was replaced by machines. These machines only replaced muscle power, whereas now the introduction and advancing technologies of AI (artificial intelligence), automation, communications and robots are replacing, in some cases, human decision making, messaging, services and brain power in the 21st century. Consequentially, a sizeable number of jobs will no longer exist or be economically viable for employers to hire human beings, in the foreseeable future.
According to a recent study by Oxford Economics, a private British-based research and consulting firm: "Job displacement from the rise of robots will not be evenly spread around the world, or within countries". The low estimate is 20 million jobs. It added that "robots will increasingly play in sectors including retail, healthcare, hospitality, and transport as well as construction and farming."
Robots have already taken over millions of manufacturing jobs and are now gaining in the services sector, infotainment and entertainment industries (think newsreaders and animation) helped by advances in computer vision, speech recognition and machine learning. "In lower-skilled regions, job losses will be twice as high as those in higher-skilled regions, even in the same country." france24.com/en/20190625-robots-take-20-mn-jobs-worsening-inequality-study
These facts should be major considerations when planning for numbers and skill levels of immigrants which a nation actually needs, both at present and into the planned future. High employment levels are integral to a healthy economy and peaceful society.
The military in a number of countries have been experimenting with augmenting troops with "robots" and AI (artificial intelligence) for over a decade. Explosive ordinance disposal units (EOD), surveillance drones, logistics and maintenance "robots" have featured significantly in use. Recruitment quotas are consistently difficult to fill for a number of military branches, and as a response - research and testing for "robot soldiers" who never have to sleep, eat, take leave or have ethical decisions to make; has been generously funded and promoted. Rationale includes not subjecting humans to as much danger particularly in terms of chemical/biological weapons, radiation, extremes of heat/cold/altitude, explosions and identification/discovery.
"During a recent speech, Basset – a 20-year veteran of the British spy agency Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) and very familiar with U.S. military research – warned that the U.S.’ attempts to “stay ahead of the curve” will result in the Pentagon’s deployment of thousands of robot soldiers over the next few years. The upshot, according to Basset, is that the U.S. Army will have “more combat robots than human soldiers by 2025” – just six years from now. www.mintpressnews.com/the-u-s-military-will-have-more-robots-than-humans-by-2025/237725/
In terms of service industries, robots have been inserted (literally) in a number of areas such as "Sex toy brothels", "Companions", "Waiters" and pets. The "sex toy worker industry" is already worth billions of dollars worldwide. They custom make "companions" with detachable, washable orifice genitalia in all colors, with the ability to sense touch and speak in a number of different languages. There are even "transgender" models available to order online. Not all countries permit the manufacture and/or importing of robots, especially as sex toys, but there is already a highly lucrative smuggling business for those countries who do not.
The ethical questions regarding using robots have not been answered yet. For some societies, such as Vietnam and China, with populations having many more males than females, this may be one outlet for a human need, especially for young men with no prospects of a serious, committed relationship. Some predict there will be fewer cases of depression and sexual violence issues if more sex "toys" or "robots" were affordable and accessible to the majority of people. At present they are outlawed in a majority of nations.
"Imagine, for instance, that you, as a neutral third party, could end the sexual exploitation of people overnight. Would you do it? What if the mechanism for ending such suffering was to hand abusers a realistic sex robot for them to use instead? On one hand, the rest of us would sleep safely knowing that other people were no longer suffering, but we'd also have to deal with the fact that we used technology to quietly enable abhorrent behavior. Perhaps it is a pragmatic solution to a problem we cannot otherwise fully solve." www.engadget.com/2016/12/23/international-congress-on-love-and-sex-with-robots-2016/
These are questions which need to be considered and discussed. Who determines the "morality" of robot use? The manufacturer, the government? What happens when a robot has a "bad day" (as has happened in a number of countries including Germany, Japan, Canada, India and the USA) and harm to a human being and/or property results? Who will prosecute? What about the introduction of "robot rights" which have been introduced in the EU, incredible as it may appear:
"Robot rights" is the concept that people should have moral obligations towards their machines, similar to human rights or animal rights. These could include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression and equality before the law., as well as the right not to be at fault. In America the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Robots (ASPCR) was established in 1999. www.acuitymag.com/technology/what-you-didnt-know-about-robot-rights
Normally we think of robots as physical devices which are designed to assist in human (and sometimes non-human) tasks. However, it’s fair to say that all our non-mechanical AIs from chatbots to facial recognition applications, and smart game playing apps from chess to World-of-Warcraft are also robots, and are equally imbued with AI. There are examples of how AI is currently harming us. We need to:
The past few days I've been in Queenstown in the south island of New Zealand. I haven't been here for 25 years. The once small mountain "town" is unrecognizable now with upscale tourist everything and stores selling sports gear from all the major brands, hundreds of accommodation choices according to your budget, a variety of restaurants, bars, recreation activities and thousands of tourists. I stayed in a "pod hostel" in the center of town near the library where I gave a reading of my books on Saturday. The hostel was run mostly by automation with young reception 'facilitators' who managed the surveillance cameras and machines and who were there on work visas or working on student visas"under the table". A machine checks you in and the "pods" have self contained units with "shades" for privacy and individual lockers with programmed combinations you create. I found few people talked to each other because of this set up, (unlike other hostel experiences) and the pods were quite claustrophobic. (see pics below)
In a room which slept eight females in separate "pods", there were two young women from Oman (on student visas) two from Malaysia (on student visas) one from Germany who was on holiday, two from Indonesia-I did start conversations to ask where they were from out of curiosity since four of the women wore hijab (from Oman and Indonesia). There were vending machines dispensing food and tickets. It was warm enough in the southern hemisphere winter but the atmosphere was quite chilly. No lobbies, lounges or places set aside for human interaction. To me this makes travel very sterile and strange. As frustrating and rude as human beings can sometimes be in the hospitality scene, I do prefer them to robots...even "good" or "cute" robots. Watch this video about a hotel almost completely staffed by robots in Japan and decide if this is for you when you travel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZYBm8_rY7U
As July blows in here in Aotearoa, I hope you sleep well wherever you are and have the chance to speak with people and experience the wildness and intimacy possible in loving human relationships. I've been able to re-connect with friends and colleagues I haven't seen for some time and meet new people who have encouraged me to continue writing and reaching out. I feel enriched though my plans for selling books and breaking even on expenses, have not come to fruition here.
For me, this is the only place on the planet with Maori and Maori culture and it cheers me to see the language (the reo) strong here, and the children of elders I once worked with and knew, continue the traditions, the mahi (the work) and the aroha (the love) that is special here and shown in ways unique to Maori. Robots will never be able to approach the passion, energy, mana and spiritual strength (wairua) such as that demonstrated in the haka in this video I am closing with from one of the NZ army units at a military camp in the south island (Te Waipounamu). Please take two minutes to watch-the lyrics are translated in the notes at the beginning. Enjoy: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rDoV0EBu44
Until next Tuesday-
Whaia koe te iti Kahurangi...kia kaha