I am just one person so my opinion does not represent any population at all. This post is purely the fruit of my brief thoughts when I was asked if I am afraid that my future job will be looted by robot or not. At first, the idea seems scary because that means I will be unemployed and bored and poor and sad and die earlier – too exaggerated but somehow true. Then I think to myself, why will I be sad? I heard all bad things about working such as stress, harassment, not respected, etc. If I could not work, I should be happier and can have time for myself like what I am doing now; read books, learn language, meet people so on and so forth. Well, by now you might have an idea why people are scared of losing their expertise field to robot. The smaller possibility to earn money in the specific field we had spent most of our life before. No money means life will be harder due to restriction in movement, unable to but utilities and even worse incapability to fulfill daily needs. This is the critical point – MONEY.
I am not saying that without money, one cannot be happy but I believe that uncertainty due to financial incapability and absence of source of earnings will affect one’s life severely. Moreover, in today’s society money could be considered essential. With only money we can buy our necessities and rest assured; recent study even proved that money could actually buy even happiness (Whillans, et all, 2017). Also with automation, it is likely that it will increase inequality in the society, business owners for example will be better off while low class workers ended up in a worse condition. Why, of course because the business could reduce labor cost and pile up more revenue while the laid off people can just pack their bag and go home. Bill Gates had previously proposed a solution by taxing the robots (Fortune, 2017). This could be a good measure as the robot tax could be given back to the unfortunate by building more public facilities and give better social supports and securities.
But there is always but, tax is a very sensitive word to me. Earlier today I was discussing tax payment back in my country, which is still developing. Tax paid by the citizen arguably never come back around for the public good. We only observed that the more we pay tax the chubbier our politicians’ belly – if you get what I mean. The point here is, while imposing tax could be beneficial if is done right but since I am not a big fan of politicians, I am skeptical of its effects. At the moment I favor one governmental move which is the universal basic income.
This idea is still under experiment in couple European countries pioneered by the Finnish. It has shown both positive and negative effects. Apart from being controversial, it is very unfavorable to the government since it requires HUMONGOUS AMOUNT OF MONEY — imagine how much Chinese government have to provide even just for half of it 1.3 billion citizen? A lot. Anyway, I am sure that people up there will find a way to deny its usefulness or implement it with restrictive measure such that the country will not bankrupt. I am just saying from my dreamy understanding of the scheme, by having a basic income we would be able to life unconcerned of money and do more valuable things. While this exclude eating in Michelin restaurant everyday, buying luxury clothes and queuing for newest iPhone, I think I can live with it. There should be more sharing platform which can be access free publicly, including activities that add value such as library, sport teams, community services, etc. The main idea is there should be a system in which human could live without worry but did not end up stupid due to unavailable access to activities that add value. These people with basic income given to them should be able to utilize their knowledge to make a better environment and thus boost the quality of life around them. No one need to do things they hate just to survive and that they contribute to the best of their expertise. Helping other boost one’s happiness and induced kindness chain (Fowler, Christakis, 2009) research claimed. This really sound so dreamy and jut hope it might come true.
In the end, my answer of the main question: “Are you scared that robot will take over your job?”
Short answer: no.
Long answer: no, but I am afraid of the uncertainty that will follow from the time in which I will be unemployed due to automation. While currently I am sure that job take over will not happen since I am confident in my creative thinking and learn-ability (let be a little positive once in a while) but AI is developing fast and no one knows up to what degree will it evolves in the future. So I just hope that before that happen, the people up there have found the answer or give me a change to work it out i.g. employ me please?
HAHA hope you enjoy~