Robots are here and it might be a good thing


“… so 10,000 people are going to be replaced by a robot facility... and no-one even blinked...”

The hours I had spent comfortably reading about the future potential of artificial intelligence and robotic production flashed back to mind. Time idled away listening to podcasts or watching TV programmes predicting the same replayed through my head. 

But across our elegant lunch table, I witnessed a real flesh and blood human being,  a business colleague, breathless with alarm and distress.

“…and it’s happening now, Steve….” 

As I tune into the AI conversation, I’m struck by a rush for acceleration, aggressive disruption, the 'clear benefits' of autonomous systems, the challenge of ‘learning to embrace and manage the transition' and, like my lunch date, frightened by the almost total absence of any real ethical, human agenda. 

Robots are here and it might be a good thing.

But only if we can stop asking how we ‘manage the transition’ and start asking the better, more human question: ‘What is this for?' 



McKinsey on the future of work.

The Conversation on the demand for people skills.

World Economic Forum predictions on future work.

Let's Know Things on obsolescence.

BBC on the rise of the robots.



Steve MarshallComment