Rise of the robot: Will intelligent machines kill the global workforce?
The idea that intelligent machines could one day replace humans is nothing new. Hollywood has long been obsessed with the idea of smart or “thinking” robots capable of performing human-like tasks – think of Rosie on The Jetsons, Blade Runner and C-3PO in Star Wars. But could robots take over a majority of human jobs? Or will increasingly intelligent machines create more jobs than they render obsolete? The answer to the first question is simple: Robots are already replacing humans, particularly in manufacturing. Machines can now clean homes, ring up groceries and even dispense medicine. Meanwhile the costs of robots are falling, and machines are taking on more “human” responsibilities, such as testing and inspecting products. “The reality is, machines have been taking jobs away from people for years,” says Moshe Vardi, a computer science professor at Rice University. “It’s very dramatic to think about Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator walking […]