Cars are also Robots
It’s difficult to imagine that Artificial Intelligence will take the place of people but many believe that it’s only a short time before computers will outthink us. They already can beat our best chess players and have been able to out calculate us since calculators first came onto the scene. IBM’s Watson is on the cutting edge of Cognitive Computers, being used to out think our physicians but closer to home, for the greatest part; our cars are no longer assembled by people but rather robots. Our automobiles can be considered among our first robots, since they took the place of horses. Just after the turn of the last century when the population in the United States crossed the 100 M mark the number of horses came to 20M. Now we have a population of 325 M but only 9 M horses. You might ask what happened. Well back in 1915 there were 2.4 M cars but this jumped to 3.6 M in just one year. Although horses still out-numbered cars the handwriting was on the wall!
You might think that this doesn’t apply to us but why not? The number of robots increase, taking the place of first our workers on the assembly line and then workers in the food industry and this takes us from tractors and combines on the farms to the cooking and serving hamburgers at your favorite burger joint. People are becoming redundant! That’s right we are becoming superfluous! Worldwide only 7 out of 100 people have college degrees and here in the United States only 40% of our working population possesses a sheep skin, although mine is printed on ordinary paper. With education becoming ever more expensive, we as a population are becoming ever more uneducated. A growing problem is that as computers and robots become smarter, as they are, we are no longer needed to be anything more than a consumer and where will the money come from for that? I recently read that this death spiral will run its course within 40 years! Nice statistics that we’re looking at….
Looking at the bright side of things you can now buy an atomically correct, life sized doll, as perhaps a robotic non-complaining, companion for under $120. In time these robotic beings will be able to talk back but hopefully there will be an off switch. As interesting as this sounds it will most likely not be for everyone, however it may appeal to some of our less capable, not to have to actually interface with real live people. The fact is that most people will soon outlive their usefulness! We as a society are being challenged and there will soon be little reason for our being. When machines make machines that can out think us; when we become dumb and superfluous, then what? Are we ready for this transition? It’s scary but If nothing else, it’s something to think about….
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