Progress of robonomics

I found this study while cruising the net today. It shows that others are seeing what I am. The cultural shift caused by automation.

This article is written by some one who I think fails to learn from past mistakes. Probably the author has failed to actually study industrial history (Very few people actually do) the author said this:

However, let’s keep in mind that technology does not proceed autonomously, detached from any human influence. It is our tax dollars that fund most of the basic research underlying automation technologies, humans are designing these systems, and consumers have at least some say in how well automated service technologies fare in the market. I can imagine, for example, that “made (or served) by humans” could be the “organic” or “fair trade” of the future. If we as a society collectively vote with our wallets for good customer service by real people, the future may just look different from the often gloomy predictions of science fiction. After all, if there’s one thing humans will always be better at than machines, it’s being human.


The key problem with this paragraph is that Free Trade and Fair trade are hardly economic substitutes. Fair trade is often luxury affectations for the rich and upper middle class.  The superior quality exists only in the mind of the buyer put there by ideological desires rather than productive methods.

Made more complex is the simple fact that machines can make things people can make both better and faster. This drives UP quality and drives down price. This would result in “proudly hand crafted” type logos being higher priced and lower quality. This would require an ideological or advertising push to get these things to sell.

Basically the article looks at how machines were years ago and fails to account for how they are now, or where they are going.


Follow up on robonomics

The Associated Press has published a story on robot farmers.

The engineers were testing the Lettuce Bot, a machine that can “thin” a field of lettuce in the time it takes about 20 workers to do the job by hand.

The thinner is part of a new generation of machines that target the last frontier of agricultural mechanization – fruits and vegetables destined for the fresh market, not processing, which have thus far resisted mechanization because they’re sensitive to bruising.


A lot of Hispanic and Asian farm workers will have to find new work, this will be part of the social upheaval I talked about.  But the price of food will come down making things easier on those with less money for food. Fruits and veggies will be cheaper too making one less excuse not to eat them.