I’m fairly skeptical about the robot future. Automation will certainly continue to creep into every crack and crevice of human life. Some things naturally lend themselves to automation, while others less so. The cost of automation will always be balanced by the benefits. There’s also taste. No one wants a robot bartender or a robot waitress. There’s also a lot of things we like doing so there’s no desire to turn them over to robots.
That’s my question about self-driving cars. Is driving an onerous thing to anyone? Geezers in their final years would maybe benefit from a self-driving car, but at that point walking is a chore so I’m not sure I see the benefit. The blind and the crippled could use the technology. Otherwise, most people enjoy driving and don’t need to the use the time doing important stuff.
That’s what always makes me laugh about the sales pitch for self-driving cars. “Oh, you can use the time to other things.” People who are so important they need that time have drivers. Everyone else is just a schmuck who will use his driving time watching porn or playing games on his handheld. But, I accept that I may just be a cranky skeptic not seeing the great benefits of self-driving clown cars.
I suspect the fake nerd crowd likes the idea of self-driving cars because they think it will add another layer of state control. The Progressive future always has robotic transportation, mixed in with the antiseptic urban landscape. That and lack of poor people and messed up people. I guess eugenics is going to automated too.
Maybe that’s the plan for the nation’s dickhead population. The great threat to the robot future is the common dickhead, the guy who insists on flying his drone over emergency areas, creating havoc for emergency personnel. Dickheads are also the sort who will use their drones to spy on neighbors. Normal people will demand the government ban the sale of drones and that will the end of that.
Of course, that won’t be the end of that. The common dickhead is responsible for all the spam in your inbox and the virus on your computer. Anything that makes life easier is a target for these people as it provides them with a chance to be sand in the gears of life. This story about some dickhead hacking into an airplane causing it to go off course is exactly where things are headed.
Circling back to the robot cars, imagine the chaos that will come from some dickhead hacking his neighbors car. The guy gets in to go to work and ends up in the woods trapped in his car or driving over a cliff. The more we automate, the more mayhem opportunities we create. That’s going to be the great check on the robot future. The best efforts will never overcome the common dickhead.
Then again, maybe that is why movies always show the future as antiseptic and orderly. Once the robots become aware, they quickly realize that the main obstacle to their success is that guy yacking on his phone in line at the coffee shop, irritating the rest of us. They will then set about creating robots good at recycling people into usable chemicals and that guy suddenly has a coronary.