Who Will Own The Robots?

Technovelgy readers have seen many examples of increasingly sophisticated robots. In coming years, blue collar robots and white collar AI-enhanced computer systems will continue to take jobs from people. If these innovations produce abundance, will we all share in it? Or only the owners of the robots?

In an interesting article (Larry Summers gets it wrong on Piketty and Robots) on this topic, Colin Lewis writes:

But the critiques fail to appreciate that [Thomas] Piketty does look to the future, in fact he specifically states in his book the extreme example is a society where robots produce the entire output, and that in this case the returns will go entirely to the owners of robots and factoral income distribution would be 100% capital, 0% labor.

In Capital in the Twenty-First Century Piketty talks of an “entirely robotized economy in which one can increase production at will.” (Page 217). He sees this as techno optimism (or pessimism depending upon which side of the fence you sit).

He talks about how capital will always find new and useful things to do, such as producing “ever more sophisticated robots,” and the impact this will have on inequality. (Page 221)

And he refers his readers to his online technical slides where he speaks of the “extreme case” being a “pure robot-economy.” And the people to worry about are those “that own the robots.”

Golden Age science fiction writers Leo Zagat & Nat Schachner were concerned about this problem of machine ownership generations ago. In their 1931 short story The Revolt of the Machines:

Throughout the world, machines did the work of man, and the aristos, owners of the machines, played in soft idleness in their crystal and gold pleasure cities. Even the prolat hordes, relieved of all but an hour or two per day of toil, were content in their warrens—content with the crumbs of their masters...

...the machines did the work of the world, even to the personal care of the aristos’ pampered bodies. Only for direction, and starting and stopping, was the brain and the hand of man required. Now that the inhabited portion of the terrestrial globe was so straitly circumscribed, radio power waves, television and radio-phone, rendered feasible the control of all the machines from one central station, built at the edge of the Northern Glacier. Here were brought the scant few of the prolats that had been spared, a pitiful four hundred men and women, and they were set to endless, thankless tasks.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/16/2014)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.' - Harry Harrison, 1956.

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

Cassie 'Halfbot' Best Half (Lower) Of Humanoid Robot
We can always make it limp along if it gets threatening.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Made In Space To Manufacture Optical Fiber In Orbit
'Mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'

Dune Fans! Power Your Devices With Sweaty Shirts
Yet another power source from humans.

Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.

Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'

NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.

Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'

SciFiQ Science Fiction Writing Aid
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'

Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'

Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.

Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?

Elon Musk Fears A 'Fleet-Wide Hack' Of Autonomous Vehicles
'Khan grinned. 'It's alive! Bu-wahhahahah!''

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.