‘I wonder if the “demand” for stuff to be
delivered by robot to our door within 30
minutes of ordering really exists – is
modern satisfaction really that shallow?’
asks Dr Colin Bannon. Photograph:
Amazon
Further automation of the retail sector
raises issues far beyond the needless
luxuries of choice, convenience and speed
of delivery (Amazon to test drone
deliveries in British skies
, 27 July). I wonder if the “demand” for
stuff to be delivered by robot to our door
within 30 minutes of ordering really exists
– is modern satisfaction really that
shallow? But in an increasingly
automated society, where are the wages
to buy these goods going to come from?
While Brexit showed that politicians were
detached from the anger of the
dispossessed of this country, where are
they on the automation of yet more of the
jobs that so many people depend on? It
seems they are keen to race headlong
into a very misty future.
There are so many unresolved issues: the
need for a citizen’s income to allow those
disenfranchised from the workplace to
live a reasonable quality of life (and the
taxation on corporate profits that this
would require); the loss of peace and
quiet, privacy, safety, security; and
beyond all this, what will humans be
doing in the future? What will be our role?
It is important that we ask ourselves
these questions before these increasingly
intelligent robots start answering them.

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