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The Arrival – Elon Musk Says Robots Will One Day Take Your Job

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【Summary】Elon Musk is known for his radical and unique views, including his statements that our world and universe is merely a “computer simulation,” and that “journalists kill” by accurately reporting the events behind the crashes of Tesla’s autonomous vehicles. Musk’s passion and beliefs are never in doubt, and he is not one to pull punches.

Original Anthony    Nov 11, 2016 12:05 AM PT
The Arrival – Elon Musk Says Robots Will One Day Take Your Job

Elon Musk, never one to shy away from controversial statements, recently claimed that in the future, robots will replace humans in the workforce. Musk is known for his radical and unique views, including his statements that our world and universe is merely a "computer simulation," and that "journalists kill" by accurately reporting the events behind the crashes of Tesla's autonomous vehicles. Musk's passion and beliefs are never in doubt, and he is not one to pull punches.

Regarding the replacement robots to come, Musk has been more than forthcoming. According to an interesting article on Yahoo.com:

"Computers, intelligent machines, and robots seem like the workforce of the future. And as more and more jobs are replaced by technology, people will have less work to do and ultimately will be sustained by payments from the government, predicts Musk , the iconic Silicon Valley futurist who is the founder and CEO of SolarCity (SCTY), Tesla (TSLA), and SpaceX."

Says Musk: "There is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation. I am not sure what else one would do. I think that is what would happen."

Explains Yahoo.com:

"In a country with universal basic income, each individual gets a regular check from the government. Switzerland considered instituting a universal basic income of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2578) a month this summer. Voters ultimately rejected the plan, but it sparked a broad, global conversation. President Obama addressed the idea of a universal basic income in an interview with the Director of MIT's Media Lab, Joi Ito, and Scott Dadich, editor in chief of WIRED."

While society is slowly mulling over the idea of a basic human income, technology is rapidly changing the global workforce.

Musk believes that with increased robotic replacements for the human workforce: "People will have time to do other things, more complex things, more interesting things. Certainly more leisure time."

But will this kind of a paradigm shift be a happy one for society? People derive much of their meaning and identity from their job. Taking that away from people could produce a certain emptiness that would be difficult to define or address. How would sociologists, clergy,  anthropologists and others look upon a world in which most of the work is done by robots?

What about the character building, teamwork and sense of comradeship synonymous with a job well done? Sweat and toil is as old at Adam and Eve, Cain and Able and the building of the first great city by Nimrod. We know from antiquity that humans derive a sense of "self" from hard labor. "By the sweat of your brow" is the common mantra. Now all of that seems to be in a state of flux. When the robots arrive to take your job, will you simply wave goodbye, or fight to stay? Ultimately the greatest question for Americans, who pride themselves on their work ethic, will be what happens when that particular ethic is rendered meaningless? How will the government provide for a universal wage for non-productive citizens considering America's debt of almost $20 trillion — perhaps 10 times that in global derivatives exposure?

 


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