Robots are coming!
…to a factory near you. But beware, they are after your job, too! Foxconn, one of the biggest electronics manufacturers, is looking to replace 70% of its human workforce with robots in a couple of years. The fear of robots replacing human workers originates from ca. 1970s, when robots have been introduced on production lines in many industries, but their deployment was expensive and limited. Only now the technology seems to have matured enough for robots to be feasible on a broader scale. If you combine robots with 3D printing, which is another hot area of development, humans will be pretty much redundant in manufacturing soon. I predict that humans will be replaced in most other areas too, from store clerks through medical staff. Think of a job a robot cannot do, and I guarantee robots will eventually be able to do it. Most likely, engineers will be one of the few jobs left to humans, but probably not for long. Some specialized, niche jobs may also be safe for some limited time. This will gradually happen over the next 30 to 50 years. We will soon need a brand new economy, in which humans will not be qualified or will be too expensive to perform any kind of work. Therefore, humans will not earn money, so they will not have money to spend. It is hard to imagine what social turmoil we will be going through. In my opinion, governments should start thinking about how to approach this problem now, when it’s not too late. It is inevitable and there is no way to prevent it. We will have no choice, but to adapt.