Richard S. wrote:At some point we will have massive amounts of unemployed people that have been replaced by robots and companies will no longer have consumers able to buy their products. To put it bluntly I don't see how capitalism could survive.
rberq wrote:More and more production by fewer and fewer people, with the profits all going to those who own the machines and robots, etc. Plenty of wealth to make everybody comfortable, assuming there is a mechanism for redistributing the wealth from the owners of capital to the rest of the population. But I don't recall that the writer had any workable suggestions on how to do the redistribution.
Richard S. wrote:The topic is about computers taking over jobs humans do, stick to it.
Hmmmm. Thought I WAS sticking to it, and agreeing with the point "don't see how capitalism could survive". I fully expect computers to attain the ability to "think" on a par with humans, though perhaps not in the same way humans think and without the same emotions. I originally believed, maybe 40 years ago, that it would happen within my lifetime, but now probably not quite that soon. Again, I am not worried about having nothing to do when the computers and robots take over. I don't do a hell of a lot now, and I'm willing to continue. But I think the social issues will be huge. Those with the computers and robots won't care that there are unemployed consumers who can't buy their products, because the computers and robots will provide to their owners all the goodies they need. But without a fundamental restructuring of how our society works, those unemployed consumers will not share in the benefits of computers and robots. The rich will get richer and as you point out even the technicians and programmers will no longer be needed, so they will wind up with nothing. I picture this future as a small elite of "owners" living in untold luxury, with an efficient mechanized / computerized army protecting them, and a giant mass of "everybody else" left to fend for themselves in squalor.