Andrew McAfee’s technological utopia

March 1, 2013

Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business at the MIT Sloan School of Management, delivered this astonishing lecture at a TEDx event in Boston in 2012. The main question of the lecture was “Are droids taking our jobs?” His answer, which is based on research, not mere speculation, is “most definitely yes.” And it’s not just mechanical or manufacturing jobs that are being taken over by robots, but also jobs involving higher order cognitive skills, like writing newspaper articles. Indeed, McAfee points out that Forbes online magazine has already started publishing flawless articles written by droids, not humans. 

Many people will of course be disturbed by these developments that are threatening human employment on a massive scale. But not McAfee, who believes that the logical endpoint of this technological trajectory will be a utopian future in which humans are freed from the drudgery of labor to do things that matter, like reducing global poverty. No kidding. That’s what he says.

Another group of people who are very excited by these recent advances in robotics are the executives and owners of the iPhone maker Foxconn, which has just found a convenient way to avoid the bad PR it has been receiving over its inhumane workplace conditions. The solution? Get rid of the humans

Let’s now keep a close eye on these Chinese workers who have just been freed from the drudgery of their Foxconn jobs to see if they spend their new-found freedom solving (or worsening?) pressing problems like global poverty.


Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Democracy Now