Saturday, August 20, 2016

Mechanical Slaves

Kyle Reese: There was a nuclear war. A few years from now, all this, this whole place, everything. It's gone. Just gone. There were survivors. Here, there. Nobody even knew who started it. It was the machines, Sarah.
Sarah Connor: I don't understand.
Kyle Reese: Defense network computers. New, powerful, hooked into everything. Trusted to run it all. They say it got smart, a new order of intelligence. Then it saw all people as a threat, not just the ones on the other side. Decide our fate in a nanosecond: extermination.
--The Terminator

Fears escalate about the "robot fallacy"--i.e., that robots will take over the world of work. Some good rejoinders here. Robert Samuelson reviews the history of the misplaced fears of technological unemployment and notes that robots are merely the most recent chapter in the drama.

Prof Boudreaux adds that not only do robots not threaten long term unemployment, but they improve productivity and prosperity.

Prof McCloskey might state it best, "The repeated alarms against robots are silly, since robots are merely mechanical slaves for our benefit."

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