Saturday, December 27, 2008

We Are Doomed

A U.S. government intelligence agency thinks robots may be so capable by 2025 that questions such as "Would you like fries with that?" may be uttered by a smiling machine at the order counter.

In a report titled "Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World" that was released last week, the National Intelligence Council offered its long-range strategic thinking about the military and economic challenges the U.S. will face from other countries over the next 17 years, as well as the environmental challenges ahead. The report also looks at technologies, and it includes some sweeping ideas about the future.

In other words we are truly fucked. This continues to be one of the unreported stories of the past decade. Robotics are going to advance to the point that menial labor is going to be more efficiently done by machines. What this does to a generation of unskilled and low skilled laborers and teen-agers is not ever discussed.

We yammer away at the potential in 50 years of Social Security needing a few bucks, this not so much. Think about RFID tags on every part used to construct a home, and an instruction set designed for efficiency by a super-computer. Picture what that is going to do to construction workers.

Human jobs in housekeeping, gardening, construction, road repair, low end retail, fast food can all be chopped away. Don't bother saying that Jimmy the french fry cook can "retrain" to design robot CPUs. He is verily doomed.