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 EU slapped Google with a record 2.4-billion-euro anti-trust fine on Tuesday, dealing a fresh blow to a US tech giant and risking the anger of President Donald Trump
Russian billionaire, Mikhail Fridman’s L1 Retail investment vehicle has agreed to buy British retailer, Holland & Barrett, for £1.77bn (€2.01bn), in its first acquisition, betting
Financial markets are not expecting any increase in UK rates in the coming 12 months despite a pick-up in inflation to 2.9%.
Japan’s Takata, at the centre of the auto industry’s biggest-ever product recall, filed for bankruptcy protection in the US and Japan, and said it had agreed to be largely acquired for $1.
German business confidence unexpectedly rose in June to a record high, as strong domestic consumption and robust exports combined to make company executives increasingly upbeat about the growth outloo
A family of confectioners who were the creators of ‘emeralds’ sweets has lost an appeal over whether there were rights-of-way over their former factory lands in Co Donegal.
A comprehensive plan is needed for two IDA-owned sites in Cork — one lying idle in Fermoy since 2002 and another in Kilbarry on Cork City’s northside that is “underutilised for years
British pub group JD Wetherspoon is to spend €15m on developing its controversial site on Dublin’s Camden Street.
British consumers increased their borrowing at the slowest pace in more than a year-and-a-half in May and banks offered fewer mortgages, data from the country’s banking industry showed yesterday
Irish oil and gas exploration company Petrel Resources said it has “sufficient” funds to cover activities for the “near future” despite seeing losses widen by nearly 13% over t
The economy could grow by as much as an “above trend” 4.4% this year, one economic think-tank has said.
Visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called for deepening trade ties with Germany.
Reports that Kenya has signed contracts for the phase one development of Konza complex is welcome for several reasons.
Reports that Kenya has signed contracts for the phase one development of Konza complex is welcome for several reasons.
India is protesting against the CPEC as it passes through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir
Mention Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC) and what it usually elicits is fear that depositors' money is at stake, and the future of the bank involved is uncertain.
Mention Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC) and what it usually elicits is fear that depositors' money is at stake, and the future of the bank involved is uncertain.
The Banking Association South Africa on Tuesday hit out at reports that some of the country's leading bank executives had been spied upon, saying this practice should be condemned in the strongest ter
They need a razor-sharp definition of what the visual should stand for
The search giant must change how it provides some of its search services to comply with the competition decision in Europe.
Online retail giant Amazon.In today announced the launch of its sixth fulfilment Centre (FC) for Mumbai, and its eighth in Maharashtra. The new fulfilment centre is situated in Bhiwandi, and will ser
Boda boda is a logical advancement of a bicycle which was a status symbol when we were growing up. Bicycles were rare, and fascinated us with speed.
Boda boda is a logical advancement of a bicycle which was a status symbol when we were growing up. Bicycles were rare, and fascinated us with speed.
No longer can they can offer up something that cannot be verified, says top ad man
Grant Thornton Verification Services on Tuesday indicated that there should soon be more clarity on the extent of transformation brought about by Broad-based black empowerment (B-BBEE) transactions wi
Bulk of its dollars will go to platforms offering verifiable data
With the monsoon approaching, people in Delhi have another health worry -- malaria, 113 cases of which have already been reported in the national capital, while the number of dengue cases have inched
On his campaign trail in Bungoma County last weekend NASA party flag bearer and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga claimed that the Jubilee administration was to blame for the maize crisis by cutting
On his campaign trail in Bungoma County last weekend NASA party flag bearer and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga claimed that the Jubilee administration was to blame for the maize crisis by cutting
Senior Congress leader Ajay Singh today said the bribery incident allegedly involving Satna civic chief has exposed Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's policy of "zero tolerance against corruption.
Regulator Sebi has barred Merlin Agri Projects India Ltd and its directors from the capital markets for not complying with public issue norms. A probe by Sebi found that the company had allotted rede
Arunachal Pradesh Governor P B Acharya has called upon the Puroik community to move forward for development like other communities of the state. Inaugurating the office of the Autonomous Puroik We
A subsidiary of engineering conglomerate Larsen and Toubro (L&T) has secured orders worth Rs 2,552 crore across business segments. The orders have been bagged by its construction arm, L&T Constructio
UK banks are being forced to put more money aside to cover customers' bad debts.

Recent News

'Fuller House' Season 3 to debut on 30th anniversary of 'Full House' premiere

The first nine episodes of "Fuller House" Season 3 are to begin streaming Sept. 22 on Netflix.
Read Full Article

Banking associations can be a power for good

The one in the UAE can certainly set the agenda for a better customer experience
Read Full Article

It is action stations in the race for 5G roll-out

For tech giants and telcos alike it can be the tipping point to something bigger
Read Full Article

Unilever lays down the law on its ad spend

Bulk of its dollars will go to platforms offering verifiable data
Read Full Article

Region’s media needs to show the numbers that count

No longer can they can offer up something that cannot be verified, says top ad man
Read Full Article

Brand makeovers aren’t only about colours

They need a razor-sharp definition of what the visual should stand for
Read Full Article

Salaries Of Top Automaker CEOs. Here Is The List

Fiat Chrysler's Sergio Marchionne leads the list, Volkswagen's Matthias Mueller brings up the rear
Read Full Article

Preventing diabetes

BBC1's Doctor in the House Rangan Chatterjee helps single mum La-Vern improve her lifestyle so she can avoid developing type 2 diabetes.
Read Full Article

Trump's Supreme Court legacy might be closer than you think: Keith Boag

Washington is aswirl with speculation that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is about to step down after nearly 30 years on the bench. Saying goo
Read Full Article

Popular Finance

Did govt intrude on RBI turf with NPA ordinance? Here#39;s YV Reddy#39;s take

Former RBI Governor Yaga Venugopal Reddy launched his autobiography, "Advice and Dissent- My Life in Public Service," which speaks about his experiences, throws light on the current issues faced in
Read Full Article

RBI#39;s strong measures likely to break NPA resolution deadlock: CRISIL

Ratings agency CRISIL believes that the recent action against bad loans by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will severely dent the bottomlines of the lenders concerned. In an interview to CNBC-TV18,
Read Full Article
 

London second to LA as the world's best city to invest in

Los Angeles narrowly beat the British capital to grab top spot in the Schroders Global Cities 30 index, which cherry picks the world's locations with the greatest promise for future growth.
Read Full Article
 

Dave's The Joy of Techs review the best coffee machines

Comedian Marcus Brigstocke and actor Alexis Conran check out the £8,995 coffee machine that operates using an App in Dave's new TV series, The Joy of Techs.
Read Full Article

Earthquake: 3.9 quake strikes near Truckee, Calif.

A shallow magnitude 3.9 earthquake was reported Tuesday morning 11 miles from Truckee, Calif., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 2:09 a.m. Pacific time at a depth of
Read Full Article

Larijani: Iran ready to cooperate with other countries in energy field

Tehran, June 27, IRNA – Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani announced that the Islamic Republic is ready to cooperate with other countries in the field of energy.
Read Full Article

Evacuation alerts mistakenly sent cause confusion as 5,000-acre fire burns in Riverside County

A car crash ignited a fire Monday in a remote Inland Empire canyon, and the blaze quickly spread, triggering evacuation warnings. By about 11:50 p.m., the fire was 10% contained as 5,000 acres bur
Read Full Article

From the Archives: The Cabazon dinosaur builder

Claude K. Bell, a Knott's Berry Farm sculptor and portrait artist, opened the Wheel Inn cafe in 1958. To attract customers to the restaurant in Cabazon, he began building dinosaurs. Bell thought b
Read Full Article

The CBO's other grim news about the Senate GOP healthcare bill

Almost as soon as the Congressional Budget Office released its hotly awaited analysis of the Senate GOP healthcare bill, the media pounced on the CBO’s projection that 15 million fewer Americans w
Read Full Article