Life after robotics: will people useless class

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Life after robotics: will people useless class

To predict the future by constructing a social hierarchy tried already the 18th century. Physiocrat Francois, Ken, explaining the economic structure of society and ways of its development, highlighted the “sterile class”, people who do not work on the ground. In the 20th century, Thorstein Veblen explored the role of “the idle class”. Its main function is to encourage consumption. Israeli historian Yuval Harari in his book “Sapience.A brief history of humankind” claims that sophisticated computers will open a Pandora’s box. There is a risk to not grow assistants, and oppressors.

Useless class of humanity

A possible rule of intelligent robots will turn most people into a heap of economic rubbish, absolutely worthless, not able to find a use. People will completely out of the labor market smart machines. The human crowd to occupy themselves, will spend time in a drugged delirium or wandering around virtual worlds.

The meaning of education is lost, because the subjects of study will be outdated faster than people will be able to acquire them. In order to be popular, people need to constantly learn, faster and faster. However, the majority are not capable.

As soon as machines displace people from the labor market, the wealth and power concentrated in the hands of a very narrow circle of owners of these machines. They will be able to enjoy the benefits offered by new technologies, including genetic engineering, medical advances.

A small group of owners AI and robots will be able to extend its life, and the rest of people become economically useless. This leads to the fact that the government will lose interest in the health and education of citizens. Humanity will split into two separate species, one of which will have to disappear.

A profession which will not be

Their findings Harari founded mainly on two jobs. In 2004 Frank levy of MIT and Richard Murnane from Harvard published a study of the labor market and made a prediction about the future impact of automation. Since people are constantly narrows the range of its activities, it is becoming easier to replace the machine. The ancient hunter-gatherer had done a huge number of functions and had an enormous amount of knowledge about the environment in which he lived. To teach the robot all that he could do very difficult.

Today a popular profession, be it a taxi driver or a cardiologist, are becoming more specialized. People are much easier to replace machines, which is what happens in many cases. Of course the AI does not have 1% of the human potential, however, and this is enough to run most modern works.

In September 2013, researchers from Oxford’s Carl Frey and Michael Osborne in “the Future of employment” has predicted that within 20 years approximately 47% work in the United States will be replaced by machines.

The probability of the replacement of people by machines by 2033: a vanished profession


With 99% probability lose your job the people involved in the telemarketing and insurance;
With a 98% probability of sports judges;
With 97% – cashiers, cooks;
With 91% of guides.

There is a list of professions that have no risk of being occupied by machines, for example, archaeologists. Their work requires very complex skills and no profit. So corporations are not likely to invest money to make for them a replacement.

Not so bad

Like any shocking findings, conclusions Harari caused a wave of criticism. Its main impact was on the following areas.

1. Incorrect use of the work of Frey and Osborne.

Basing his theory on the work of Frey and Osborne, Harari forgets to say that their conclusions are accompanied by serious reservations. In the conclusion of their study, the authors of “Future employment” claim that today it is impossible to determine what professions will emerge with the growth of automation, just as it was impossible to say in the 18th century in the initial stages of industrialization. Researchers describe three types of activities, which is unlikely to be automated in the foreseeable future. These include:

social work

Work that requires complex social interactions – negotiations, care work, teaching, psychology and psychiatry.

– creative work

Robots can only solve tasks and yet do not know how to invent and formulate. So they will be difficult to replace scientists, technologists, mathematicians, writers. According to Frey, scientists and engineers, as well as employees of other creative professions should intuitively determine the next step that the robots will learn to do so soon.

– Autonomous manipulation of objects

This refers to the recognition and movement of objects of different size. The researchers argue that it is very difficult to create a robot that can distinguish a large range of sizes and transfer them in a constantly changing addresses. Therefore, the cleaners and the gardeners can rest easy. Their workplaces are in no danger.

2. Contradiction to current trends

Speaking of “useless class” Harari can create a situation in which AI has the most skills employed while training people in new skills required by society, it is impossible, because it takes a lot of time. As a result, the majority of people becoming unemployed. However, this situation, to judge from recent developments, it seems unlikely. According to studies, the correlation between technological development and long-term unemployment is often weak, and in many cases negative. If you build a Beveridge curve reflecting the dependence between the number of unemployed and number of vacancies, it is possible to notice that in the last 10 years in the United States, for example, despite the impact of the crisis, observed structural shortage of labor. That is, contrary to the claims Harari, reconstructing the economy forms the new jobs, which, if desired, and mastering the required skills you can take. Thus, the approval Harari contrary to reports.

3. Political engagement
The last decade demonstrates the obvious crisis of the left social-democratic ideas. It is no coincidence that the political pendulum in Western countries began to change the direction of state paternalism in the direction of liberalism. The evidence for this is increasing in developed countries, the popularity of right-wing parties, professing the principles of free market and laissez-faire economy. The main pathos of the theory Harari is the inability of liberal ideas to control economic development. In his opinion, the lack of public control over the activities of the market and, in particular, corporations will lead mankind to destruction. The book should scare the first of all European citizens and to represent the state as the sole defender of their interests. Apparently, there is no need to explain who benefits from it.

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