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We see a lot of fuss about Automation, jobs being at stake, deep discussions of what’s next and how it would turn out. Concepts like “Universal basic income,” “Socialism,” and the rising need for stronger and better governments are the norm. People came up with different ingenious solutions. Some advocated the opportunities and possibilities of this very new idea called Automation with enthralling optimism. While others criticized it for what it is.

Automation, is not really a new concept, it is our nature, its in our blood and in our DNA too, technically. Humans have an innate need to automate stuff. No one likes to just tighten screws all day long or answer phone calls with no degree of using any brains. These jobs, today, are considered mundane and is complete drudgery. We write code, program our tasks, automate our day and a lot more. And this has been around for ages, we’ve created the water clock, the thermostat, Richard Arkwright invented the first fully automated spinning mill. Basic tasks are not valuable anymore, they are not demanded anymore. Thus creating groundbreaking changes in the values of people’s lives, goods and services.

This idea has completely disrupted the industry, jobs were laid off, the transportation industry is at least 12% of all jobs and is one of the first and the fastest industries to go flesh less. New jobs are created, the difference was that the these jobs were tough, they needed more expertise and skill which were expensive. Safety in the work environment suddenly became a pressing topic, why you ask? because there were no alternatives for safety before this, but now, is it an excuse to automate our jobs?

The accuracy, precision and the diligence that was presented was impressive. We could not resist the growth in standards and in profits. People who could see the potential were baffled. Thus the creation of robots. In the beginning, this did not do much, just a new genre for movies, a newer topic for online forums and better pastime for college kids.

This idea was no more just a trend, everyone wanted their stuff to be automated. If you think about it, a baby boomer’s first thought when asked to find the meaning of some word would be going to the library and search a for a dictionary. The next generation would probably call someone for the meaning and today’s generation have girlfriends like Siri, Alexa and Cortana.

Sometimes, I think, we should stop for a moment and see if this is going in the right direction. Maybe we are over automating stuff, maybe its better to use a mechanical slide for a car’s sunroof rather than an electric one so that you can avert the risk of the electric one not working right under the car wash just like in final destination. The movies showed us that robots can turn bad with really no effort at all (pun intended) and that it is pretty dangerous. We have heard news from Google that their AI is actually writing code to write code. It has mastered the art of learning a language or create a new one for that matter, it even defeated the best Chinese GO player in GO. Studies show that the more advanced AI becomes, the more aggressive it is. Mind you aggression is NSFW. Newer tech like VR was welcomed and encouraged, but how many of us actually liked using VR

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Keeping this in mind, how are we evolving to it? A person who fancies a long car ride wouldn’t be happy if his car came without a steering. A kid who craves his mom’s hand made dish will not be happy if he sees his food being prepared by a vending machine.

The debate is a huge ongoing process, we all know the horse – car analogy, people say cars came and the horses had to be eaten away, but they are not and are used for recreation. Any horse riding enthusiast club in the country will tell you. Driving when automated, completely quits the fun in it, you do not get to talk about customizing engines, using bigger drive trains or actually revving a super car.

We have come to an extent where we try to automate the most mundane of things, videos that show people getting ready for work completely on a machine while still sleeping attract a lot of attention. Laziness was once bad, now its “understandable.” Such attitudes are garnered in kid’s cartoons too. I guess there would be a time where you’d say ” Hey Siri, would you mind peeing for me instead of me?”

We even think of “Universal basic income” and “Socialism” as solutions, we dream of a society of complete freedom and productivity. We aim for free and better education, better healthcare, research and a lot more. We’d want to travel the world with all the time we have, experience cultures, put our tongues in different cuisines. But we for fact do not have a clue of what would happen if at all our dreams were true. Lets think about it, if we had money and time, would we relax? I wouldn’t think so, humankind is filled with feelings and emotions. Love, hate, greed, kindness, jealousy and a multitude of flavors with their own colors of flavors of us with their own colors of deception. The crime rate would go down, the number of happy people per capita would go up. People would probably just go the movies and eat ice-creams and Tacos.

What do you think? is the trend of automating our lives good and feasible or bad and dangerous? share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Discretion: None of the facts or opinions mentioned or portrayed above are endorsed by the writer.

 


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Rahul Ranga Rao


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