Automation - whatta bitch!

SUBHEAD: Artificial intelligence, automation and robotics are combining to make people superfluous.

By Juan Wilson in 4 January 2017 for Island Breath -

Image above: Concept graphic for movie "Robot Overlords".. From (

The previous four posts on this website deal with automated technology replacing human beings in areas where thought, skill and experience have been required for a task to be completed.
In the few decades robotics and software have automated patterned repetitive tasks in manufacturing - most notably in automobile production. Through the 1950's and 60s Detroit autoworkers were the envy of the world. Members of the United Auto Workers could command good wages - enough for a single worker to own a home, support a family and send the kids off to college.

Today those jobs have been automated and largely sent out of the country to where people are cheaper to operate.  Detroit is a shell of itself, reinventing itself as a post industrial city with much of its population lost and its suburbs blending into urban gardens and wilderness.

Many of the nine-to-five jobs humans have had have disappeared. But as the articles above demonstrate there is another wave of human replacement coming on right now.

Uber, Google, Apple, Tesla, Amazon and others want into an autonomous vehicle future. They are planning for automobile, drones and other technologies to replace a wide spectrum of human work not requiring an advanced education: that includes not only transportation and manufacturing, but food service and retailing.

The fast food industry is racing to replace human workers with fully automated service. Basically vending machines for burgers and fries. What's a teenager to do for work? Design a commercially successful iPod app?

The retailers like Walmart and Home Depot now encourage shoppers to check themselves out at automated teller stations. (Incidentally, I refuse to use them and seek out a human teller at these sites and tell them I'm glad to see them behind the counter).

Is this a danger or threat to humans? I would say it well may be. For decades science fiction writers and futurists have perceived a future where our technology becomes self aware and realizes the weakness and self destructive nature of humans (particularly in great numbers). Remember HAL in the movie "2001: A Space Odessy" or SKYNET in "The Terminator"?

As automation and artificial intelligence develop higher capacities that our technology may realize, as many humans have - that our behavior in the ecosystem is suicidal. At that point we humans may be seen as an unsupportable cost in the overall system.

Humans require way too many resources, too much energy, too much food and too much entertainment in order to be satisfied. If the technology can get along without, truckers, clerks, and factory workers why should it put up with the unemployed, retired, handicapped and children? In other words - Who Needs Us? Certainly not the elite 1% who now have their clutches on the vast majority of wealth.

Image above: Robot staff of eighteen cooks, serves and entertains at a restaurant in Harbin, China. From (

I am not suggesting that we all go 'Unabomber" route. If you don't remember the Unibomber was Ted Kaczynski, he was mathematical prodigy that abandoned a promising academic career  at UC Berkely in 1969.

Kaczynski moved to an isolated cabin in Montana. Between 1978 and 1995 he killed three people, and injured 23 others, in a nationwide bombing campaign targeting people involved with modern technology.

Kaczynski was driven mad by his realizations about where industrialism was taking humanity. As twisted as his actions were I see the wisdom of his wide-ranging social critique "The Unibomber Manifesto( He opposed industrialization and modern technology, and advocated advancing a nature-centered form of anarchism.

We have been advocating for a decade that we lower consumption, get off the grid and becoming self reliant. It may not be too late - but at this point I'd advise hurrying.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Capitalism is a form of Cancer 10/7/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Lost in the Blogosphere? 8/21/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Oases on a future Eaarth 6/28/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Building the Garden of Eden 5/25/15
Ea O Ka Aina: The Hail Mary Pass 8/17/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Worse than you think 5/21/14
Ea O Ka Aina: The New Game 11/10/13
Ea O Ka Aina: The Wolf & the Cherry Tree 2/16/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Food, Water, Energy & Shelter 1/31/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Embrace the Change 7/24/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Doom & Gloom 7/17/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Power from the People 4/3/12
Ea O Ka Aina: The Titanic or Noah's Ark 3/4/12
Ea O Ka Aina: The Hero's Way 1/13/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Trick or Treat! 10/31/11
Ea O Ka Aina: 911 Aftermath - Our Self Defeat 9/10/11
Ea O Ka Aina: In a van - Down by the river 8/23/11
Ea O Ka Aina: The American Unraveling 7/29/11
Ea O Ka Aina: All Aboard! 12/9/09


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