The Robot Oligarchs

The oligarchs of the future are the robot owners. They will own both the labor force and its output. In this new digital world order, displaced workers ay have to seek survival in rural areas.

A major problem of this world is the rapid and massive displacement of humans by machines of all kinds. It started in Italy in a Fiat factory in the 1970s, which was fully robotic based. The justification was a blunt lie, i.e., that Southern Italians were lazy. The true reason was that industrialists wanted to own the labor force and its output. This continued in Japan with lights-off factories, then in the USA where I was part of teams that unfortunately displaced thousands out of work by applying robotic automation, and now it is spreading in the services sector worldwide with Google promoting a driver-less cab and soon other companies will offer machine learning software and sensors to replace even airline pilots. Driver-less buses are appearing now in bankrupt Greece where the unemployment rate is close to 30%.

Displaced workers in many countries may soon seek survival in rural areas in a move that will turn the clock backwards in human progress, possibly irreversibly. Something must be done and fast and this should include the heavy taxation of products of automation and robotic machine use at high rates so that can finance job creation and survival of displaced workers. This must be done before the situation is uncontrollable.

There is no sense in talking about economics models any more as the owners of the digital robots will soon own everything. Of course this is not capitalism but some peculiar form of technological oligarchy.

At the same time, universities around the world are workings hard on assisting the robot oligarchs to even displace more workers from their jobs because they get grants from them. Universities should be penalized for research that results in job losses by an equal reduction in government grants.

The idea that progress in robotics and machine leaning will create more jobs is naive and promoted by pseudo-optimists in social science that have no real connections with the field. The final stage of automation is to replace humans in all levels involved, i.e., self reproduction. In this way profits will be maximized for robot oligarchs and they will be the only capital owners around with governments struggling to finance welfare of displaced workers. The whole thing has to do with domination and control, and automation, machine leaning and robotics shroud be viewed in this context before it is too late. The use of technology should be limited where it improves human conditions and where it degrades it should be penalized by appropriate measures.

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