One of the greatest benefits of writing this blog is that you get to put your finger on the pulse of one of the drivers of societal changes. What driver is that? I am of course talking about technology. Technology can reshape society. Technology can change how people interact with each other. Technology can change how people see themselves within society. Technology can change how resources are distributed or generated within society. Technology is a driver of social changes and social identity. Nothing is more exciting than the impact of robotics technology. We have all these fanciful ideas regarding robotics. Our ideas take us from the depths of our fears like Blade Runner and other doomsday scenarios like Blade Runner and The Terminator series which paints all sorts of doomsday and depressing scenarios regarding robots all the way to our highest hopes embodied by the Jetsons cartoons. The truth probably lies somewhere in between. Robots will neither become our evil oppressors nor would they be the solutions to all our problems.
Be that as it may, there are several trends in robotics technology that are worth paying attention to. These trends can impact our daily lives. The biggest impact to America is that America, on an annual basis, needs to import people. For a variety of reasons Native-born Americans or people who have been living in America for quite a long time don’t want to do certain jobs. People don’t want to do stoop labors like picking up lettuce, or produce at farms. Many people shy away from very boring and repetitive factory jobs that pay very little. As a result, these industries have historically relied on imported labor. Of course, this imported labor has its own drawback as well. There are societal changes, there are s social tensions, so on and so forth. America solved its labor problems by importing people. Japan is also facing the same issues but refuses to import people. Japan has increasingly turned to robotics and automation. If the current robotics trend in America continues, we can see the Japan option becoming a more viable option to the United States. For example, there are already robots that sort grapes. There are already robots that pick fruit off plants. There are enough technology to make these robots viable.
It remains to be seen if more and more industries become automated with the passing years. There is really no technological hurdle it will just take a breakthrough moment when personal robotics really takes off. Once that happens, all sorts of manual jobs will probably disappear. We’re talking about maids, butlers, house cleaners, you name it. Even nurses might be replaced by health robotics.