Humans Need Not Apply
Shocking as it may seem, we are very likely to find ourselves in a situation or time when humans may no longer be needed in the workforce as most jobs will be done by robots. By robots we don’t mean machines that look like humans, moving around barking orders, but appliances like the coffee vending machine or the refrigerator that sits in your kitchen, or the car’s navigation system. We also mean future robotic waiters who would do a better job of servicing customers without delay or bad mood; we also envision a future when doctors, lawyers and writers will be replaced by robots.
If you think these are things of the future, think again. We’re already in the future and a few years later, many of us, without any fault of our own may find ourselves jobless. Scary, isn’t it? But that is a likelihood we face. Drivers have already been replaced by driverless cars. Helpers at supermarkets have been replaced by one single robot, the scanner and the cash register. You can consult with a doctor using apps sitting on your smartphone. Workers in factories were replaced long back by robots, making assembly lines faster and more efficient.
The question is, how to manage this humanitarian crisis that is going to blow up in our hands. For no fault of their own humans will find themselves out of job, just like horses, oxen and elephants. How do we take care of the populace? How would governments of the world deal with it? With the track record governments has, many fear that we’ll be plunged into an apocalypse like situation, where anarchy and mayhem rule. With sensible and people friendly policies, we may avert a situation like this. Governments may have to think of paying their citizens a monthly grant to keep peace and harmony. We believe it’s time to think and ask before a situation like this arises.
As educators, we can play an important role to play. Inculcating the right values and equipping them with social and uniquely human skills can prepare them for a future like this. Machines and robots have their own limitations. We must remember that is we who made them. Without us, they're just a good as an empty box.