Will Robots End Work?

There’s plenty of discussion about the possibility of robots taking away human jobs. Even though we currently have very low levels of unemployment, some people fear that jobs like truck driving, insurance underwriting, tax accounting, warehousing and manufacturing, not to mention modeling and pizza delivery, will be completely automated in the near future.

What will people do if widespread unemployment takes place? The happiest answer is that the unemployed will take on new, more satisfying jobs. People who give this happy answer have to admit that retraining will be required and that there won’t be a one-to-one correspondence between the people who lose their jobs and the new job openings in more satisfying work.

The transition will be difficult, this answer tells us, but there will still be plenty of jobs.

The less happy answer says that people whose jobs are taken by robots will have more leisure but will become disgruntled. Maybe they’ll turn to drink, drugs, or crime. It won’t be good.

Jean-Phillipe Deranty has a different answer. He says that people will continue working. Work, he says with supporting references to generations of philosophers, is a human need. We evolved to work, and we won’t be able to give it up.

We might redefine work. That’s already happening. Jobs like Instagram Influencer and Pet Psychic are of questionable value, and there could be plenty more jobs like that. These jobs probably won’t be automated because they are pointless. Elevator operators and travel agents have disappeared because they weren’t needed, but once people can define their own jobs, need may not be a relevant factor.

But there are sure to be new jobs which meet new needs that we can’t even predict right now.

In the meantime, call on us for service and support for your Rexroth electric industrial motion control. We also have the largest stock of emergency replacement components in the nation. Call (479) 422-0390 for immediate assistance.

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