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 ")

HEXA Robotic Help For Plants
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to "help them out." - Vernor Vinge, 1992.

DIY Robot Shoots You In The Face
'...there were automatic guns that fired ligamine darts.' - Michael Crichton, 1969.

Qoobo Headless Robotic Therapy Cat Was Anne McCaffrey's Idea
'...used as surrogates in intense dependency cases.' - Anne McCaffrey, 1990.

PUFFER Robots - From Philip K DIck's Second Variety?
'Across the ground something small and metallic came, flashing in the dull sunlight of midday.' - Philip K. Dick, 1953.

 

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

3D Printed Artificial Muscles Are Stronger Than Yours
Bots don't need to work out.

Fog Computing (AKA Edge Computing) Ad Hoc Networks
'The tiny devices chirped their impulse codes at one another...'

Dubai Scorpion Police Hoverbike Ready To Pull Young Kirk Over
'Is there a problem, officer?'

HEXA Robotic Help For Plants
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to "help them out."

Korean Tesla Model S Video 'Excelsior' Is Indeed Our Motto
'Improving man by bringing him close to Nature, while they combine the sensations of coasting with the interest of seeing the country well...'

DIY Robot Shoots You In The Face
'...there were automatic guns that fired ligamine darts.'

A Bayesian Approach to Safe Imitation Learning For AIs and Robots
Um, how about that pension for the humans who serve as the models for robot behavior?

Qoobo Headless Robotic Therapy Cat Was Anne McCaffrey's Idea
'...used as surrogates in intense dependency cases.'

Autonomous Cars Talk To Each Other At MCity
'My cars talk to one another.'

PUFFER Robots - From Philip K DIck's Second Variety?
'Across the ground something small and metallic came, flashing in the dull sunlight of midday.'

Russian Space Garden
'We saw the gardens, flooded with artificial sunlight...'

Targeted Neuroplasticity Training For 'Downloading Skills'
'I know kung-fu.'

U of M's MCity To Feature Asimov's Automatobuses
Should you turn autonomous buses off?

Crazyflie Drone Swarm Technology
'...Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.'

Our GodBot, Who Art In Cyberspace
Vaal hungers! We must serve him.

easyJet Short-Haul Electric Jets
Have a little faith, will you? They're working on it.

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.