News Reality

How Robots Could Destroy Our Economy - And How They Could Save It

by www.huffingtonpost.com
Our robot overlords are coming, but will they be a boon for our economy, or herald its destruction? Science fiction usually examines how robots could kill us existentially, by calling our uniqueness into question, or literally, by refusing to open the pod bay doors, but economic destruction could be far more efficient and devastating. If we aren't careful about how we integrate robots into our economy, they could end up compromising our entire system--but on the other hand, if we're smart, they could put all our economic concerns to rest once and for all. Let's examine how robots could affect a number of economic areas, and the broader implications for those effects. Jobs The World Economic Forum is predicting what's being called the "Fourth Industrial Revolution," driven by technologies like artificial intelligence, 3D printing, nanobots, genetics, biotechnology, and other robotics areas. By the year 2020, an estimated 5 million jobs are predicted to be replaced by machines. And that's on top of the jobs that have already been taken over by machines; up until this point, most job replacements have been in manual labor and simple tasks, but over the next several years, these replacements will shift toward more intellectually intensive, traditionally "white collar" jobs. The flip side is that new jobs will be created by increased demand for these technologies--but at a much more modest rate of 2 million jobs. That leaves a shortfall of 3 million jobs in the next 4 years. So what economic implications would that have? It means fiercer competition for any available human positions, and increased demand in STEM sectors. It's a manageable transition, from a broad economic perspective, but this is only short-term thinking; we're on pace to destroy countless more jobs as we progress to 2030, 2040, and even further out. There are some broader economic benefits to this job displacement, however. For starters, companies will save money and increase productivity, meaning they'll be able to produce more and charge less (at least hypothetically). A wage shortfall could therefore be better tolerated by working populations. There are a lot of potential effects here, both positive and negative, so it could go in a number of different directions. The Stock Market Our capitalist society is centralized, in many ways, around the stock market, where shares of public companies are freely traded. When stock prices collapse, the broader economy suffers (like in the 2008 financial crisis), and when they rise, the economy rises. Here's the problem; stock prices change based on the actions of investors, and investors are gradually being replaced with automated trading algorithms. Already, these robotic traders have caused "flash crashes" that disrupt market trading beyond our control; if these algorithms become more commonplace and publicly controlled, they could hypothetically have massive implications for the direction of our economic growth. Resources It's also important to note that advances in robotics can (and should) provide us with more resources necessary to live our lives, making it cheaper to exist. Suitably advanced systems could easily harness enough renewable energy from the sun, automatically grow and harvest crops, and possibly even discover better ways to utilize resources. The only potential problem here is withholding these technologies in search of greater profit--which I'll explore momentarily. Doomsday Scenarios With this information, I speculate there are three key "doomsday" scenarios in which the rapid advancement of robotics could disrupt our economy. Robots replace too many jobs before we can stabilize a jobless economy. First, robots replace so many jobs--before we can prepare for the realities of a "true" jobless economy--that a substantial portion of the country/world is unable to work and make a living wage. Robots collapse capitalism before we can suitably adapt. Second, robotic algorithms (possibly combined with the implications of higher unemployment) causes a massive downward spiral for the stock market, crushing our capitalistic system before we have a suitable replacement. Robotics creates a class system that rewards its creators before it goes open-source. Revolutionary resource-harvesting technology is withheld by its profiteering creators, before standards are put in place to make such technology open source and available to the public. The Hope Notice a thread of commonality in the three major doomsday scenarios I outlined above; the critical use of the word "before." Each of these scenarios can be averted by recognition and preparatory measures by our top minds (of both robotics and corporate worlds). Already, technological leaders like Elon Musk and Bill Gates are striving to prepare us for the new realities of an AI-filled world; we just have to keep that momentum going faster than our rate of robotics development. There's no scenario for economic collapse that can't be averted by the same minds potentially responsible for unleashing it.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.


Read Full Article On www.huffingtonpost.com
Latest
The chief executive of FBD has urged the Government to act on its own extensive report into the insurance industry and bring forward legislation that would help rein in the costs of claims.
Arguments about the potential €60bn bill that the UK may owe the EU as it prepares to quit the Union could eat into the time left for the UK to strike a new trade deal, a leading economist has wa
It was all going so swimmingly for hotels and guesthouses in Ireland for the first six months of last year — until Brexit happened.
First-half sales are expected to have increased by 11% on a yearly basis at discount clothing retailer Primark, which trades here as Penneys. 
There is mounting evidence of a strengthening of the global economy since last autumn.
South Korea's special prosecutor's office said on Tuesday it will charge Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee and four other executives with bribery and embezzlement amid a political scandal that has rocked
"Our priority is to fix the prices of drugs as soon as possible. We do get complaints and representations on the excessively high prices of other drugs", Bhupendra Singh, Chairman of NPPA told CNBC-
Gold received support from a positive global trend and fresh buying by local jewellers as the price recovered by Rs 25 to Rs 30,150 per 10 grams at the bullion market Tuesday.
The High Street food chain says it is facing inflationary pressures and greater economic uncertainty.
I, for one, welcome our new robot overlord.
South Korean prosecutors say they will indict Samsung's de facto chief on bribery, embezzlement and other charges linked to a political scandal that
India`s rapid economic growth has lifted 140 million people out of poverty in the past decade but large parts of the population still lack access to elecricity and toilets, the OECD said in a report
Russia-backed separatists attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 84 times in the past 24 hours with one Ukrainian soldier reported as wounded in action (WIA), according to the press service of Uk
Tension between Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo and Singh brothers of Fortis Healthcare is rising as the former has again moved the Delhi High Court against Fortis on March 6.
Rakuten is still unsure whether it wants to venture into the country due to concerns about the slowdown in growth in India's e-commerce market. According to to RedSeer Consulting, the Indian e-comme
A report had claimed that the government was looking to sell a majority stake in the loss-making national carrier to a strategic partner.
Blue Label Telecoms reports a 54 percent increase in headline earnings per share in the six months to the end of November.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has made a one-day trip to the border province of Sistan-Baluchestan to inaugurate several projects, IRNA news agency reported February 28.
Curro Holdings is confident in the tertiary education market and plans a separate listing of its tertiary business during the year.
Hindalco Industries's Birla copper unit has a mega copper smelting and refining complex at villages Lakhigam and Dahej in Bharuch district. It now wants to expand its continuous cast copper rod plan
Retail flows into Indian equity market look bullish in the near term and indicate that the recent market strength may continue despite the expected sharp earnings decline ahead, says an UBS report.  
Hungary has called on Azerbaijan to invest in the country’s tourism market.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said his government has earmarked Rs 2000 crore for rapid development of the Barak valley. Four bridges would be built over the Barak river and some f
Total deposits rose in January by €148.8m, to almost €49bn, as total loans fell by €86.4m, to €54.9bn, the Central Bank of Cyprus said. The increase in deposits last month is mainly attributable to a
NYON, Switzerland – UEFA has fined Dynamo Kyiv and Besiktas 60,000 euros ($63,500) each for crowd violence at a Champions League match. Read more here. The post Associated Press: UEFA fines Dyna
A dispute that had arisen with NTT DOCOMO over its investment in Tata Teleservices. The dispute was over Tata Sons buying back DoCoMoâ??s stake in Tata Tele as per their agreement signed in 2009.
According to the statement, standalone generation stood at 13,022 MUs (million units) in Q3 FY'17, as against 12,032 MUs during the same quarter of FY'16.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes said on Feb. 27 he has seen no evidence from the intelligence community that there was contact between Russia and the Trump campaign. Read more h
The developing Asia needs around USD 1.7 trillion of investment per year till 2030 to keep its growth momentum going that will help the region reduce poverty and fight climate change effectively, Asia
A local court has stayed the proceedings initiated by a lower court against the then Bhopal Collector and SP for allegedly helping Union Carbide Chairman Warren Anderson escape after the 1984 Bhopal g
Tata Power today announced a generation capacity increase of over 8 per cent in the third quarter of the current fiscal compared to the year-ago period. "The company, together with all its subsidiari

Recent News

Does Cyber Security Have An Operational Excellence Problem?

Companies need operational excellence over their security. By getting the tedious and simple stuff right, you can do the more advanced stuff much better and reduce risks. Process and routine might see
Read Full Article

BSE Smallcap index hits fresh 9-year high

TTML, TRF, Tata Metaliks and Tata Sponge from Tata Group have rallied between 5% and 20% on the BSE
Read Full Article

HPCL tanks 5% on reports ONGC may acquire it in Rs 44,000 crore deal

BPCL also slipped nearly 3% to Rs 670, while ONGC was trading flat at Rs 194
Read Full Article

Coronation Street: Shona's true identity and her link to the Platt family finally revealed after this clue?

The new Weatherfield resident initially raised eyebrows when she visited Kylie Platt's grave leaving viewers wondering why she was there and whether she was linked to the late character in any way.
Read Full Article

Oscar-winning La La Land 'heading to London's West End': 'It was made for the stage and it will happen'

La La Land is being turned into a West End stage production [Lionsgate] That is according to Sonia Friedman, a theatre producer, who confirmed that the Oscar-winning film is being developed for th
Read Full Article

Sensex trading flat ahead of GDP data

Bharti Airtel, M&M, Asian Paints rise by up to 2%
Read Full Article

Saudi sees oil prices at $60 as good level to encourage investment

Also, OPEC believes that this will not encourage that big an increase in shale output
Read Full Article

Idea stock falls on Providence EP stake sale buzz

Shares of Idea Cellular fell by 6.5 per cent today following reports that Providence Equity Partners is likely to exit the telecom firm by selling its 3.33 per cent stake for about Rs 1,200 crore. ..
Read Full Article

Birchall Blackburn Law turnover surpasses £16m

The firm is looking to continue investing in its people throughout 2017 with plans to create nine new jobs and offer two training contracts.
Read Full Article

Popular Finance

States on board for July 1 GST roll out: Shaktikanta Das

The much-awaited Goods and Services Tax (GST) is all set to be implemented by the stated deadline of July 1 as all states have agreed, reports CNBC-TV18 quoting Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikant
Read Full Article

EXCLUSIVE: FDI norms may be eased for multi-brand retail, commodity markets

As reported in Moneycontrol on Monday, the government may allow limited sale of beauty and personal care products in global giants' food retail outlets as part of plans to ease rules for multination
Read Full Article

Brokerage CLSA shuts US equity research; plans fixed-income launch

(Reuters) - Hong Kong-based brokerage CLSA will halve its U.S. headcount by shutting its equity research services, as declining payments prompt it to make an about-turn from its recent measures to...
Read Full Article
 

As a delivery driver do I have rights in the gig economy?

Are you tempted by the flexibility and convenience of the gig economy? Here, a solicitor explains what you need to consider before you take a job that pays on a gig basis.
Read Full Article
 

Your travel insurance may not pay out for cruise holidays

Of the 878 single policies on the market, only 35 per cent include cruise cover as standard. Of the 906 annual policies only 40 per cent, will cover those going on cruise holidays.
Read Full Article

India should cut corporate tax, go for inheritance levy: OECD

In its Economic Survey of India, the OECD said comprehensive tax reforms, especially the goods and services tax, "would lift all boats" and raise revenue helping the government effectively deal with
Read Full Article
 

Under-18s heading to South Africa need birth certificate

A family claims a travel agent's blunder forced them to buy new flights costing £5,000 after they fell foul of a law requiring under-18s heading to South Africa to have birth certificates with them.
Read Full Article
 

If I move energy providers will I need a new smart meter? 

My smart meter was installed by Ovo to end estimated energy bills but what happens if we move suppliers? Will it work with our new provider?
Read Full Article

Trump's day in tweets: Monday, Feb. 27

Everything President Trump has tweeted (and what it was about) Feb. 27, 2017, 10:36 p.m. His tweets have the power to shape international relations, send stock prices up - or down - and galvanize
Read Full Article